By Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the number of violent deaths in Philadelphia on the rise, a number of community groups and faith-based leaders put together a “Stop the Violence” vigil and 24-hour prayer service open to all.
After the peace walk and a call for peace in Philly at the spot where Officer Moses Walker Jr. was killed, the doors were opened at Catalyst for Change Church for any and all residents of Philadelphia who have had their lives touched by gun violence. Yvonne Lembo, the director of operations at Catalyst, explained why the church got involved.
“As a city, we have a very pressing concern about the tragedy of gun violence in our city. Even as of this date, we have over 200 gun deaths in the city—almost one a day,” Lembo explained.
Pastor Keyon Gerow said the event is just a first step, but it’s a step that everybody needs to take part in.
“We need all hands on deck. This problem did not start overnight, it’s not going to stop overnight. It did not start with one person, and it won’t stop with one person. We need every concerned citizen,” Pastor Gerow urged.
Catalyst for Change Church is located at 37th and Baring Streets. The 24-hour vigil began Friday at 7 p.m. and will end Saturday at 7 p.m.