Jacksonville churches come together for ‘Stand Up Against the Violence’ rally

Rally aims to bring attention to Rashaud Field’s case & others

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Community leaders came together this weekend to say “enough is enough.”

They held a rally Saturday afternoon at the Ephesus Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Edgewood Avenue to end violence in Duval County.

The rally is called “Stand Up Against the Violence” rally and was put together by three different churches.

It is to honor the lives of all who died from violence in Duval County and push to get justice for their deaths.

Janice Fields lost her son Rashaud Fields in May 2022 to gun violence.

Rashaud Fields was shot and killed at a party just a few hours after graduating from Raines High School.

His killer is still free.

“I just want justice,” Janice Fields said. “If you know something, say something. That is the motto for every parent has lost a child due to gun violence.”

Rashaud Fields

Pastors from three local churches came up with a plan to hold Saturday’s rally to bring attention to Rashaud Field’s case, as well as the cases of all others who have been killed.

Ministers from Ephesus SDA Church, Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church and St. Paul Lutheran Church were involved in the planning.

Joyceline Dudley is the principal at Ephesus Junior Academy, which is where Rashaud Fields attended middle school.

“There is strength in unity,” Dudley said. “When we come together, changes can be made. It was a senseless murder, and we want justice. Why not now?”

At the rally, there was community prayer, singing and inspirational messages from ministers including Ricardo Daphnis, who leads the congregation at Ephesus SDA Church.

“I see these young people every day and I see the impact that it has when they lose a classmate,” Glenn Foreman Jr., pastor at Zion Missionary Baptist Church, said.

Daphnis says they are not only fighting for justice for Rashaud Fields.

“We are highlighting him, but there is a lot of heartache,” Daphnis said. “There is a lot of pain in our communities.”

According to News4JAX records, there have been 21 homicides so far this year.

In 2022, there were 164 homicides with 131 of them determined to be murders.

Saturday’s rally starts at 1:30 p.m. inside the church.

John Phillips is the Fields family’s attorney.

“We’ve had so many murders, over 1,000 murders, in seven years. Rashad Fields is the one we’re spotlighting today. And his family has been through so much. He was shot just hours after graduation. Jacksonville is killing each other for just the worst reasons,” Phillips said.

According to Phillips, his office and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are still getting a lot of tips and leads that they are following up on.

State Attorney Melissa Nelson plans to meet with the Fields family next week to go over other updates in Rashaud Field’s case.

Currently, there is still a $13,000 reward for information that ultimately leads to the arrest of the person responsible for killing Rashaud Fields.