Pastor Shep addresses gang violence in Los Angeles

“There is a lot of work to do, but if everyone would just do a little bit, we will see improvements”, says Pastor Shep.

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After two murders and four people were injured during a drive-by shooting in South Los Angeles on Saturday night, several mothers of slain youth & young adults referred to as “The Crew” took to the pulpit on Sunday for open discussions with Sr. Pastor Shep Crawford of the Experience Christian Ministries (ECM).

The group of mothers was assembled by James “J Roc” Farmer a well-known reformed gang member turned minister. They women came to tell their stories in hopes to help find solutions to the growing gang violence epidemic that has seemingly becoming the norm in the streets of LA.

Pastor Shep Crawford of ECM moderated the event as each mother shared their heart-wrenching story and offered words of encouragement, prayer and the committed support of the church.

“My heart is heavy. As I told the mothers, sometimes even as pastors we don’t have the answers, but what I do have is a platform and we will use that platform to reach as many people as we can. We don’t just want to hear from the victims, we want to talk to the perpetrators and potential perpetrators too. There is a reason why they kill. I believe this is the only way we will be able to reduce the killings”, says Pastor Shep.

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Located at the corner of 47th Place and San Pedro in South Los Angeles, the Church is central to rival gang territories.  Recently, Pastor Shep moderated a similar gathering bringing rival OG gang members from the Crips and Bloods together on one stage to engage peaceful talks and how to work together to improve the neighborhoods by making them safer and to create opportunities and to bring in resources and jobs.  Since that meeting plans have been put into motion with the help of Councilman Curren Price Jr. of the 9th District, The OG’s and Pastor Shep and they are expected to make some announcements in the coming months.

“There is a lot of work to do, but if everyone would just do a little bit, we will see improvements. The key is not working with your local councilperson, but you have to be willing to work with the ones who have street influence too. Together we can get the job done”, says Pastor Shep.

Some of the Mothers in “The Crew” represented and/or are founders of organizations such as “Justice for Murdered Children”, “MOMMA”, “Earth Angels” and “Project Cry No More”. The organizer of “The Crew”, James “Roc” Farmer is a reformed gang member and minister affiliated with Cease-Fire, 100 Nights of Prayer and United in Peace.

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