Spanish Town church leaders not doing enough to help with crime reduction - Pastor
The lack of participation of church leaders in Spanish Town in crime-reduction initiatives has been highlighted as an area of grave concern.
Former chairman of the Spanish Town Minister's Fraternal and voluntary chaplain at the Spanish Town High School, Pastor Terrence Williams-Brown, in a sweeping critique of the churches, said their non-participation in crime-reducing initiatives has caused crime to spiral in recent years.
"Since I demitted office a few years ago, after serving the organisation for eight years, I have seen a constant spiralling of the crime rate in Spanish Town.
"The emphasis on evangelism has diminished over the years; we are not seeing the cooperation and collaboration in the area of evangelism," Pastor Williams-Brown, who is currently attached to the Ensom City Holiness Christian Church told Family and Religion.
"When I say evangelism, I am not talking about one crusade in one area. I am talking about multiple crusades and spot meetings in communities across Spanish Town."
According to Williams-Brown, this level of evangelism must be intertwined with intensive corporate prayer.
"By this, I mean all churches uniting in prayer," he declared.
Williams-Brown said the churches have ceased working with the politicians and the police and this has given rise to tremendous division in the communities.
"Because they are not working with the political leaders and the police, a division has been created that can only be addressed by working with both groups who play significant roles dealing with issues in the communities," he said.
NO SPIRITUAL CONNECTIVITY
He observed that there is a lack of spiritual connectivity in the inner cities, a component that is important to stem moral decay in young men.
"The emphasis on building families, counselling them, and working with our young men to make them employable is lacking," said the pastor, who is actively assisting young men in various communities in Spanish Town to prepare them for future employment.
He said the churches must develop a framework to foster this initiative.
Speaking to the issue of the annual 1,000 Families March held recently in Spanish Town, he said it is not serving its purpose.
"It would be more meaningful if groups from these churches who participated each year in the March would go out into the communities instead, and interact with the people on a one-to-basis," Williams-Brown emphasised, adding that the mass gathering at the Spanish Town Prison Oval does not contribute to any significant crime reduction.
He also advocated compulsory devotion in all schools and that members of the ministers' fraternal visit schools to assist with devotional exercises.