Cleveland Community Comes Together

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Cleveland Community Meeting



By: Dwayne Adams and Sara Carr

Trumpets of hope echoed through a small community as pastors from surrounding churches gathered to pray over the heavy hearts that fill the stricken town of Cleveland, Texas.

Members of the community gathered at Samuel Wiley Park for “Community Spiritual Awakening, Blow the Trumpet in Zion” on Thursday March 31 in hopes of restoring pride and peace to the place that so many call home.

“God is never wrong,” said Pastor Archie Phillips. “What happens in our communities, in our nation, in our states, lets us know that God is not pleased with what is going on.”

Last month, the small town was thrown into a frenzy when 19 men and juveniles were arrested and charged with the alleged rape of an 11 year-old-girl.

An affidavit said the incident took place over a three-month period ending Thanksgiving weekend 2010.

The members of the Community Rescue Committee (CRC) wanted the public to gather in prayer and to join forces to bring about change within their community.

“We are trying to bring people from the community and talk to them about our kids,” said mayoral candidate Barbara McIntyre. “We are trying to find solutions.”

Since the alleged rape, members of the community have reported that some of those involved have either been victimized or labeled unfairly with little truth exposed.

“It’s out of our hands now and all we can do is pray that the judicial system will sort of the truth,” said Pastor Travis Hullett. “All I can do is pray for the city of Cleveland and help those with the healing process.”

Pastor Phillips echoed Hullett’s sentiments saying that healing did not come from pointing the finger, but from repenting.

“Through the enemy of the media, it promotes and indoctrinates our children with all kinds of ungodly promotions,” said Phillips. “Evil communication corrupts good manners.”

“If you ride around at night like I do, you will see that your children are just as much a part of everything going on just as much as the children we raised our hands against,” added Phillips.

There were no signs of a racial divide, as some media have speculated.

Families from each side of a railroad track that divides the community by racial identification joined in prayer to reignite hope and search for solutions to avoid future happenings such as this one.

“The kids don’t have racial issues like the older people do,” said McIntyre. “I don’t even think that there is racial tension, I just think there is a huge disconnect.”

McIntyre added that they are unaware of what to do in a case like this and that even though there is a huge disconnect, they are trying to reconnect by starting with those in need.

As the old saying goes and in the words of Evangelist Von Cross, troubles don’t last always.








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