HAHIRA – Faith leaders and law-enforcement officers will come together this week for a common purpose, to show unity within the local community. 

The Faith and Blue Peace Walk is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Oct. 10, at the Hahira Depot, 220 W. Main St.

Faith and Blue is part of a national weekend sponsored by MovementForward under its One Congregation One Precinct initiative, Lt. Shannon Kingston of the Hahira Police Department said.

MovementForward “is a bridge-building, solutions-focused human and civil rights organization based in Atlanta,” she said.

Officers will gather with pastors and residents at meeting points in Hahira before walking to the center of town, merging together as one large group at the depot.

The first meeting point is 117 E. Main St., a vacant lot beside the Hahira Fire Department. Parking will be available at the historical society, Chancy Drugs and Salter Library.

The second meeting point is the Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church, 409 W. Main St. Parking will be available in the church’s parking lot, the Hahira Health Department and Newsome Street Church.

Groups will carry posters and banners during the walk, Kingston said.

Once joined together, participants will sing the National Anthem, a faith leader will pray while another will speak alongside law enforcement.

Participating churches are Bethany Baptist Church, Bethel AME Church, Brown Chapel, Hahira Church of God, Hahira United Methodist Church, Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church, NorthBridge Church and The Victory Church.

Kingston said churches and law enforcement have partnered on multiple projects and have developed a great relationship.

She said the event’s purpose is “to bring the community closer and show that we are not divided but one community that can work together in any situation to solve problems and meet community needs.”

Mike Davis is the pastor of the Hahira United Methodist Church and a chaplain for the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. Davis previously worked as a chief deputy sheriff in Sumter County.

He said faith leaders should be community peacemakers.

“I would hope to see this event as a catalyst to regular prayer and outward support for our law-enforcement community so that they might feel secure in their vocation and bring their best back to the community,” he said.

“We should be a bridge between any adversity between our citizens and our public servants, showing a better way of resolving systematic problems.”

Faith and Blue offers a chance to combine both hands and hearts to build trust and support between one another, Davis said.

David Kennedy, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, said he immediately knew he would participate in Faith and Blue.

“My desire is that all of our citizens can see that Hahira can lead the way in being a city that loves and supports one another, no matter what their calling is,” he said.

Josh Owen, pastor of NorthBridge Church, wants to lead by example.

“Our desire is to glorify God and unify our community and to show that we are on the same team with similar goals,” he said.

Music and a hot dog lunch follow.

Participants are asked to bring food to donate to the local food bank and the senior citizens meal delivery program.

Requested items include peanut butter crackers, Jello cups/pudding cups, canned greens, canned yams, cranberry sauce (small cans), evaporated milk, cornbread mix, Ramen noodles and similar items.

Search Faith and Blue Weekend on Facebook for more information.

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