JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of Impact Church in Arlington held a prayer walk Saturday in the wake of a triple shooting in the neighborhood earlier in the week.
The shooting happened at around 1:45 p.m. at the Azalea Ridge Apartments on Alderman Road, off of Lone Star Road. The shooting forced three schools in the area into a Code Red lockdown.
Joy Hervey is leading the prayer walk, and said she hopes that it provides hope to the neighborhood and will help keep kids safer in the future.
“I think that what happens in communities that suffer from this, is that there’s often a loss of hope,” Hervey said. “That kind of has a domino effect on every aspect of the community.”
Bundled in coats to shield them from the chilly weather, the hearts of the church members were kept warm with hope for change.
“Jesus is the answer,” Pam La Pete said. “As we step out in obedience to him, I believe he is the answer. He will bring the answers to our city and to our country.”
La Pete and about 20 other Impact Church-goers were brought together after Thursday’s triple shooting scared the community and affected students at Terry Parker High School, Arlington Middle School and Parkwood Elementary School.
“I just got tired of all the violence in our nation and in our city,” La Pete said. “And, I believe that if our community had more of Jesus in our community, we would have less violence than we do.”
With arrests yet to be made, Denise Gantt and Jay Diane Triple are among those seeking a higher power.
“I personally have been affected, because my children went to Terry Parker High School,” Grantt said. “That school is dear to my heart. It just hurts my heart that our kids do not understand that they can have a better life, and they don’t have to resort to violence to get things accomplished.”
“As a member of Impact Church and the community, we are here to minister to so many children right here in the area. And, even though my children are older than school age, I still have a heart for the children and for the community,” Triple said.
Hervey said she believes the church can provide a brighter future for the community.
“We believe that one of the first things that we have to do, as the church, is remind people that there’s always hope,” Hervey said.