STL religious leaders uniting for peace in Ferguson

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis area pastors said they are working on a plan for peace when the grand jury delivers its verdict in the Mike Brown case. The grand jury is deciding if Officer Darren Wilson should face charges for shooting and killing Brown.
Pastors said the plan is evolving every day because something happens in Ferguson almost every night.

Some pastors said the protests last night were a turning point in the interactions between people, the pastors and priests and police.

"We heard over the loud speaker, disperse or be arrested," Pastor Rebecca Ragland said. "The police were coming forward with their billy clubs, it was tense, you felt anything could happen and naturally the clergy response is to pray. We all came to the street to be a buffer between police and the protesters. We knelt on the side, I felt hands on my shoulders. To feel the change that happened when we were on our knees, all these people came forward and the quiet that descended in this space. When that broke one of the clergy broke into song."

She believes the power of prayer made a difference. It turned the dividing line between police and protesters into a divine one.

"When we are here it's clear it changes the equation so we have to be here," Ragland said. She said she meets every other day with a coalition of clergy to work on a plan for the day the grand jury delivers its verdict in the Mike Brown Case. They're planning for potential unrest.

"We're trying to unite each group so we have one plan that we can all use," Destiny Church pastor Mike Robinson said. He and Pastor Robert White started one of the first clergy coalitions after the Ferguson protests.

White said St. Louis is made up of a "shattering" of clergy operating independently in their neighborhoods. The pastors are trying to bring all the clergy across the city and county together with one plan for peace. The pastors said they hope prosecutor Bob McCullough gives them a heads up on the grand jury decision so they can help with peace that day.


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