Alabama District Attorney Urges Churches to ‘Adopt a Gang Member’ to Help Curb Violence

SELMA, Ala. — A district attorney in Alabama is urging local churches to “adopt a gang member”—to take them under their wing and mentor them—to help curb gang violence in the area.

“Most of the country has gang issues. This is an idea that just came to me one night and I feel like this would really be successful here in Selma and Dallas County. I wanted to get it started here so it can spread,” Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson recently told a gathering of pastors at the Selma Convention Center.

Jackson would like to see gang members be more involved with local churches so that they can feel that their lives are spent performing valuable work and won’t resort to mischief on the streets.

“To make them feel positive about themselves,” he explained. “What we’re trying to do is develop a conscience for some of these young folks. They’re out here killing, and robbing and raping, and they don’t even blink an eye.”

Jackson told reporters that violence in Selma was so prevalent in 2015 that the number of shootings began to be measured on a weekly basis, rather than per year.

“A year ago, we were named the eighth most dangerous city in the country,” he lamented.

“We have shootings all the time. A lot of it is retaliation,” Jackson outlined. “If they’re angry about something, they go seek revenge. We have a bunch of drive-by shootings. They’re shooting up houses, and they don’t care if the person they’re angry at is even in there. They’ll shoot at their families. Sometimes they’re hitting up the wrong houses. And we’ve got a lot of guns on the street.”

  • Connect with Christian News

Therefore, he asked the approximately 50 pastors who were present to identify church members who are involved in gangs, to mentor them, and to involve them in the activities of the church, such as the choir or other programs.

“I think it will help. I think there’s more dialogue that needs to be done concerning it, but I think it’s a great idea. We have problems in Selma and I think it’s going to take a plethora of ideas and people working together in order to combat crime and gangs in our city,” John Grayson, pastor of Gospel Tabernacle Church in Selma tol WSFA-TV.

As previously reported, earlier this month, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin also urged pastors to form walking prayer groups in Louisville’s high-crime areas to help combat the blot of violence within the municipality. According to reports, there have been 52 homicide investigations in Louisville so far this year, including a recent incident that claimed the life of a seven-year-old boy.

“I personally believe in the power of prayer. I’ve seen it,” Bevin, a Southern Baptist, stated.

He asked that pastors and members of their congregations join together for one year to walk a block weekly, praying as they go and reaching out their neighbors.

“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 explained.

Bevin and his wife plan on participating in the prayer walk themselves.


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly
  • Grace Kim Kwon

    USA should make Christian schools free. It’s impossible to raise children properly under the liberals’ filthy dominion in public schools. When the West scorned Christianity, they also threw away everyone’s safety.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      not sure what you mean by free ….. they are as far as i know tax immune ….. they should not be publicly funded ….. and someone has to support it ….. but we do generally agree …….

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Government should fully pay for Christian school education like they do for public education. Secular education makes kids amoral. Amoral kids kill and rape. Secular nations are facing greater crisis than mere existence of gang members. Amoral kids mean no future for a nation. No proper nation.

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          no …. i have to disagree ….. the christian church and the schools under it should remain outside of government control …. the governments money is their ability to control …..

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Government should never control Christian churches or schools; they just pay them for giving kids good genuine Christian education. Secular education is a failure.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            again …. i agree about secular failure …… but taking money does not come without strings …. we are to be unspotted by the world …. taking that money would alter that …….

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            US government should realize that they need Evangelical Christians for proper education.

          • Sisyphus

            I’m a bit surprised at your suggestion of government reliance. That has shown to be a failure in most any ideology.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Poor families cannot afford Christian education, although that’s what every child needs. US government should do something to rescue children. USA was a Christendom before.

          • Sisyphus

            Why can’t the Christian schools/churches help fund families that cannot afford the school? I don’t think Jesus ever charged a monetary entrance fee. Government intervention is a bad idea and violates the Constitution.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            “Why can’t the Christian schools/churches help fund families that cannot afford the school?”

            most do ………..

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            It just drains Christian families and it is not fair.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            But public schools are producing a dangerous species by teaching kids only atheism and immorality. Government should pay for Christian schools to obtain national safety.

          • Sisyphus

            As per usual, nothing you have said here is based in any fact. Are you able to post a relevant and cogent comment?

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You make a good point. I’ve seen that happen in Canada, not just with schools, but with hospitals. Christian hospitals were the finest, but the government shut them down because they wouldn’t perform abortions. Now our health care system is in shambles.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            It means Secular West does not deserve Christian chairity or the money that comes from showing off the gorgeous church buildings. Westerners including Canadians and their mental slaves should worry over the children’s morality instead of their own health care. What is the use of having retirement money and good health if there is no godly children?

            Japan is taliking about eliminating the old. The land will go to the foreigners, and those foreigners will talk about how sick immoral the previous residents were. Western people should remember their hard-working white Christian ancestors’ contributions and stop equating the Good and evil. Secularism is evil and Christianity is good.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            So, you want the government to hand money to Christian schools but exert no oversight, control, or direction of them whatsoever?

            How many violations of the Constitution would you like to propose in one paragraph?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Public schools used to be all Christian. It’s government that cannot be trusted with children. USA needs Judeo-Christian values to be good and right.

          • Sisyphus

            Sounds like the approach take by David Wilkerson ala The Cross and The Switchblade. I think he changed lives, sans government funding or oversight.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Sounds good. I’m going to watch that film this summer.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            it is the biblical model …..

    • BuckeyePhysicist

      I like this idea except government funding comes with government control. Most Catholic churches in the US are connected to a Catholic school system, usually K-12.

      • Sisyphus

        Wether or not one agrees with their theology, the Catholic Church does a great deal of helping families get their children into school. They also do a great deal more charity work than many other flavors of religion.

        • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          That’s false. The catholic schools in Canada are linked to higher crime abuses than Christian and public schools.

          • Sisyphus

            Are you able to actually cite any facts related to your​kooky talk?

  • PilgrimGirl

    “To make [gang members] feel positive about themselves,” he explained. “What we’re trying to do is develop a conscience for some of these young folks. They’re out here killing, and robbing and raping, and they don’t even blink an eye.” We’re all born knowing murder, robbery, and rape are wrong but they’re doing it anyway. You think putting them in the choir is going to make the difference? Have you considered putting them in jail, Mr. District Attorney?

    • http://bigleaguepolitics.com/ ScorchedEarth

      I thought you believed in grace? You know, like Maddi Runkles not having to have consequences for her wrongdoing.

      • PilgrimGirl

        I never said Maddi Runkles should not have consequences for her wrongdoing.

        • http://bigleaguepolitics.com/ ScorchedEarth

          Sure you did. You said the one requirement made of her was too much.

          • PilgrimGirl

            The disciplinary actions Maddi Runkles received and accepted were already more than what other students received for violating the Student Pledge. She advocated that she should be allowed to walk at graduation just as other students who also violated the Student Pledge were allowed to do. I agreed.

          • http://bigleaguepolitics.com/ ScorchedEarth

            You’re misrepresenting the truth again.

          • PilgrimGirl

            That’s your opinion. My posts on that thread speak for themselves.

            Heritage Academy supporters who are upset should be upset at the school’s administration. First, rules in writing need to come with consequences in writing. That wasn’t done. It probably still hasn’t been done. Infractions are handled after the fact on a case-by-case basis according to the principal himself. Second, discipline should be consistent. Every student should be treated equally. Period.

            People are upset that this was exposed, that people outside of the Heritage Academy family found out what had happened. Frankly, people who do the right thing don’t mind when people find out about it. It’s the people who are doing the wrong thing who want to keep it hidden.

          • http://bigleaguepolitics.com/ ScorchedEarth

            Most of your posts on the subject have been deleted.

            You misrepresented what happened to Maddi. Rules were bent and discipline overturned for her in all but one aspect. Different rules did not apply to different students because Maddi was the only pregnant teenager.

            Funny how think Maddi deserves compassion and mercy, but you don’t want to show any to black youth.

          • PilgrimGirl

            The story didn’t identify the gang members as black youth. Perhaps you’re assuming they’re black.

          • http://bigleaguepolitics.com/ ScorchedEarth

            You should research the story more. They are predominantly black youth. Funny that you feel these young men don’t deserve compassion or mercy or another chance, but you feel that Maddi Runkles shouldn’t have to pay a price for her actions.

          • PilgrimGirl

            You’re not interested in having a conversation with and I’m not interested in arguing with you. Goodbye, ScorchedEarth.

            (Thank you, Disqus, for the blocking feature that blocks posts from people I don’t want to hear from again.)

          • http://bigleaguepolitics.com/ ScorchedEarth

            Black pastors are asking black congregants to go out to sinners and preach the Word to them. That’s who Jesus Christ preached the Word to, yet here you are, offended and huffy. Fornication is listed right along with sins like murder, but somehow Maddi Runkles gets a pass in your sight. Go figure.