AIKEN, S.C. – “We are doing fine. We are continuing to take one day at a time. We know that it’s going to take time and actually draw strength, but together as a community this is a purpose for for our gathering today,” says James Abraham, Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church:
The Graniteville community is still morning the loss of Me’lisha Jackson and her 1-year-old son due to a shooting that investigators believe was gang-related.
In response, the community held a town hall meeting at Bethlehem Baptist Church to see how they can put a stop to the violence and voice any concerns they might have.
“We acknowledge the different problems that we have and collectively make a plan that we can come against it. That we basically don’t sit with our hands in the sand and act as though that it’s not happening. We have to find out what the issues are and address those issues,” says Pastor Abraham.
Key note speaker Devon Harris believes that churches have to step it up to hold more conversations about gun violence in their neighborhoods.
“A lot of people should learn from this. Especially church folks learn from this before it happens in your community. It shouldn’t happen. Especially if there’s this many churches in the community. They have buildings that can open during the week and do great things,” says Devon Harris, a keynote speaker at the town hall meeting.
“The main thing that stuck with me is the community coming together as one and there’s much prayer needed for the community and the family. So we just need to come together and pray more often. Much prayer needed,” says Tonya Reeves and Penny Davis, who are members of Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Aiken County Sheriff’s Office spoke with the community about the investigation and said they are working hard to find the other two suspects. they also say it’s going to take everyone’s help for justice to be served.
Pastor Abraham tells us surrounding communities need to take action as well.
“We’re talking about our community, but really all of the communities are pretty much connected. So it may happen over this region this time, but if we don’t do something collectively it’s going to migrate from one region to the other,” says Abraham
Officials tell us if you know anything about the suspects involved, call the sheriff’s office.