LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A coalition of 51 African American Pastors from across the South Plains have issued a joint response in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.
The statement issued Wednesday called on pastors and religious leaders to unite for “meaningful and constructive dialogue that will lead to actions toward true progress," after video of George Floyd’s death triggered waves of protests for social change in all 50 states.
Movements in Lubbock have taken place over the past five days, including peaceful protests beneath the Timothy Cole Memorial statue at 19th Street and University Avenue; as well as a Silent Solidarity Walk led by organization 100 Black Men of West Texas, in conjunction with Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell and the Lubbock Police Department.
The pastors say, “The senseless disregard and inhumane actions of the former Minneapolis police officers that ended in Mr. Floyd’s death have caused a reverberation and ripple effect across this country, and indeed around the globe.”
You can read a complete copy of the pastors’ joint statement here:
"Over the course of the last several days, we have been overwhelmed by the tragic and vivid video footage of the final moments of Mr. George Floyd’s life. With dismay, we listened to him beg for mercy and plead for help and relief. Our hearts blead and were over flooded with sorrow as he cried out for his mother and sputtered out the names of other loved ones.
"The senseless disregard and inhumane actions of the former Minneapolis police officers that ended in Mr. Floyd’s death have caused a reverberation and ripple effect across this country, and indeed around the globe. Although Lubbock is 1,135 miles away from Minneapolis, we too are impacted.
"It is an unfortunate reality that incidents such as this brings harm to the very principles upon which America purports to stand. It diminishes and denigrates the constitutional premise of liberty and justice for all. It severs the ideals and hope of equality, peace, unity and the pursuit of happiness. Although there is no condoning of detrimental looting and other destructive behaviors, it is understandable that many are angry and are seeking resolve. It is time to move beyond anger to peaceful and productive action. We must put aside divisive political posturing and unite under a common cause. Courage and commitment is required, if change is to be experienced. Our existence and the future of our nation depend on it.
"Individually none of us can eradicate the prevalence of hatred, bigotry, prejudice and racism from the world, yet each of us can do our part to ensure that these vile cancers do not fester within us. We can hold those who violate basic human and civil rights accountable. Collaboratively, we can work to ensure that fairness, decency, and respect for all, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, country of origin and other differences are the American standard.
"This must be a unified effort. We call upon every pastor and religious leader within the local faith community to join us in meaningful and constructive dialogue that will lead to actions toward true progress. Our unity will foster a shared commitment towards a greater value of all lives.
We pray for the family and friends of Mr. Floyd. We pray for justice. We pray for peace. We pray for unity. We pray for America."
Pastor Ben Alexander, Holy Temple Church of God of Christ (Levelland)
Overseer Don Armstead, DWA Foreign Missions
Pastor Deshun Avery, First Progressive Baptist Church
Rev. Adana Bean, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Pastor W.R. Bolton, Jr., Bethel Baptist Church (Abernathy)
Pastor Larry Brooks, Community Baptist Church
Pastor Kenneth Burns, Divine Love Baptist Church
Superintendent Ruben Caro, Tree of Life Church of God in Christ
Bishop Leonard Chatham, Full Armor Ministries
Pastor Jermaine L. Cleaveland, St. John Baptist Church (Lamesa)
Pastor Daryl Collins, Agape Temple Church of God in Christ
Pastor J.T. Cotton, One Way Church of God in Christ
Rev. Hiawatha Culver, Jr., Rising Star Baptist Church
Apostle Mark Culver, Word of Truth Christian Fellowship
Pastor W.D. Davis Lyons, Chapel Baptist Church
Superintendent Joseph Dickerson, Living Word Church
Pastor Jimmy Doss, New Generation Community Church
Superintendent Johnny Evans, Evans Chapel Church of God in Christ (Morton)
Dr. S.E. Fields, St. John Baptist Church
Pastor R. Foster, Unity Baptist Church
Pastor A. Quron Hairston, Emmanuel Church of God in Christ (Plainview)
Pastor Charles Hankson, Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church (Lorenzo)
Superintendent W. David Haynes, Christ Temple Church of God in Christ
Pastor Michael & Lady Cathy Hudson New Life House of Praise (Brownfield)
Pastor Billy D. Huey, Faith Deliverance Church Without Walls
Superintendent Rufus Hunter, Prayer House Church of God in Christ (Lamesa)
Rev. Kenneth Jackson, New Light Baptist Church
Overseer J. Jerome Johnson, Sr. New Jerusalem Baptist Church (Plainview)
Pastor J. Jerome Johnson, Jr., Mount Gilead Baptist Church in Christ
Pastor Justin Lawrence, Faith First House of Hope
Pastor Kennith Lawrence, Sr., Dominion Holy Ghost Deliverance Tabernacle
Pastor Billy Moore, Greater Works Church of God in Christ
Superintendent Chris Moore, Victory in Praise Christian Fellowship
Pastor/Teacher G. Moore, Pleasant Groove Baptist Church (Tahoka)
Pastor Tyrone Moore, True Identity Fellowship
Pastor C.C. Peoples, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church (Slaton)
Pastor Cory S. Powell, New Dimensions Tabernacle
Pastor Vernon Rose, Greater St. James Baptist Church
Pastor Glenn Samuels, New Millennium Baptist Church
Pastor Michael Session, Trinity Church of God in Christ (Levelland)
Pastor Larry Slaughter, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
Pastor Venus Smitherman, Greater St. Mark Baptist Church
Pastor Ray Travenia, St. John Baptist Church (Littlefield)
Pastor Alfred Washington, Resurrected Zoe Life Ministries
Bishop William H. Watson, III, Texas Northwest Jurisdiction Church of God, Alexander Chapel Church of God in Christ
Pastor R. Well, New Zion Baptist Church
Pastor Michael White, II, Pilgrim Baptist Church
Pastor L.V. Witherspoon, Mt. Zion Baptist Church (New Home)