STOP’s next step

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Next step for STOP: rally for ‘unity, love and peace’

By Rupert Howell

Gospel Rap groups Fro,  Change, and Yung Titan will headline Friday’s Rally of Unity, Love and Peace, an outreach program originating from a local group concerned with recent violence.

The rally will be held at Hosanna Family Worship Center located on Hentz Road and I-55 at the Pope Courtland interchange and will begin at 6 p.m.

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“Local churches need to bring their youth groups and citizens need to bring their children,” said Tony Barragan, who is coordinating the rally.

Several concerned citizens organized January 22 to form STOP, (Stop The Ongoing Problem) following a week of violence that resulted in a shooting death that was followed by random drive by shootings, at least one of which injured two innocent victims.

The group asked Barragan to coordinate their efforts and events while asking other members to pray and ask their churches for prayer.

Barragan, noting the week of silence said Monday, “Things have chilled out and I think it’s safe to say, ‘Prayer changes things.’”

He explained that the event Friday is a way to promote unity and peace for the community following the week of violence earlier this month.

Any organization, church or affiliation are more than welcome to the Feb. 3 rally said the coordinator who explained that the featured groups would be singing “Gospel Rap or rap music with a Jesus foundation.”

The featured singers are from Memphis and most are former gang members or drug dealers and all are born again according to the coordinator who added that Tate County Jail’s chaplain will bring some inmates for their testimony.

The STOP group consists of several of Panola County’s clergy members, law enforcement officials, community leaders and concerned citizens. They meet weekly in different locations within the county with the next meeting scheduled 9 a.m. Saturday, February 4 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Sardis, located on Lincoln Street.

Membership is open and visitors are welcome.

Anyone desiring more rally information are asked to call 662-934-2121.