Ministers to meet with former gang members at Mason Temple - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Ministers to meet with former gang members at Mason Temple

Ministers from around the country will meet with former gang members at the church where Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior gave his last speech.

The goal will be to launch an intense anti-gang program.
"We've come here today to say to all the brothers who think they are thugs hoodlums or hustlers God is providing an opportunity," the Reverend Eugene Rivers of the 10-Point Leadership Foundation said Tuesday.

That opportunity, according to Rivers, is a chance to meet at Mason Temple, the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his last speech.

According to rivers, it is all part of a new strategy to stop gang violence.

"There must now be a new mobilization," Rivers said. "It is no longer about white people with hoods. It's about young brothers with hoods who are now committing black on black crime.

COGIC Bishop Charles Blake is hosting the PanAfrican Leadership Summit. 

Organizers hope that hundreds of people will attend the workshops aimed at developing solutions to gang problems in both in the U.S. and Africa.
"Now the black churches have to step up the way they did 40 years ago. It's a new challenge. We're not talking about white racism and white people. We're talking about young brothers who think they want to be bloods, crips, and folk who have to be reached out to," Rivers said.

Minister Tommy Sullivan has spent the last four years bringing Memphis gang members together in attempts to keep peace.

"Many of them are ready because so many of their friends have gotten killed," Sullivan said.

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