LOUISVILLE–Governor Matt Bevin called all faith community leaders across the state to a meeting June 1 to share ideas for how they can help curb the crime issues in various communities.
Bevin’s proposal, in short, is to prayer walk and engage with the communities that need it the most.
“The lieutenant governor and myself laid out a very simple request to people: It is harnessing people of faith to pray for the community, engage with the community by physically walking blocks in that community, praying for the community….,” he said in a press conference after the meeting in West Louisville.
Bevin continued, “It doesn’t matter the age of people; we need young people and old people alike who genuinely believe in the power of prayer who want to (infuse) respect, dignity, and hope into those communities and want to do that by physically being in those communities and walking around them.”
Acknowledging and addressing many concerns with the proposed plan, he added, “There is no single solution. There is no one thing that is going to fix what ails our communities at all. What we proposed today was a single component of many things that need to be done.”
“In essence, during his address Thursday morning, Governor Bevin stated that problems of violence and community disorder in Louisville (and in this world in general) are matters of the heart,” Josh Landrum, lead pastor at Bullitt Lick Baptist Church in Shepherdsville and second vice president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, explained. “In other words, these issues are spiritual problems and his analysis is absolutely, unequivocally, biblically true.
“I believe Governor Bevin’s challenge to prayer and involvement may be a wake-up call to churches across the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Landrum added. “I would encourage pastors and churches to heed the call to prayer and involvement on the issues that are a matter of the heart and are harming communities.”
The governor also presented maps of specific neighborhoods to focus the prayer walking, urging people to take a 10-block radius and commit to prayer walk it for a year. He put out his call to all faith leaders as well as residents and public officials. Bevin expressed his intention to join in on various prayer walks, although noting that his desire is for these to be organized “organically.”
“I’m not going to have a commissioner of prayer walks. We’re not going to have 1-800 numbers and websites,” he added.
“You don’t need permission from me how to do it. You know, you walk to a corner, pray for the people, talk to people along the way,” he said, encouraging people to not sing or chant or even wear group t-shirts but to simply, “Be pleasant, talk to the people, that’s it.”
“I was very encouraged that we have a governor in Kentucky who is not ashamed or afraid to call us to prayer! Governor Bevin did a fantastic job communicating his heart for the health of our communities,” said Aaron Harvie, senior pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville.
“Our responsibility does begin with God’s people seeking and trusting Him through prayer,” Harvie added. “I am excited to join Governor Bevin in praying for our city and seeing Jesus change lives and our streets!”
Full story will be in the June 13 print issue of the Western Recorder. (WR)