On July 1, Christians will gather for an evening of motivation and headliner entertainment to stop violence nationwide. Entitled “Lay Down Your Gun and Love Your Enemies “, the event is sponsored by Christians Merging Together Nationwide (CMTH) Ministries, and will be kicked off by the mayors of Melbourne and Palm Bay, Florida.
Among the entertainment headliners scheduled to appear are:
- International Recording Hip Hop Artist Eva Sabiniano,
- Gospel Artist Ms. NRich
- The Real Dancing Preacher
“2017 is the year to end violence, to be proud of the communities we can build in this country. It starts here, in Melbourne, Florida,” says Melbourne Mayor Karen Maheen.
Palm Bay Mayor William Capote adds, “From one community to the other, we can put an end to the violence. We are doing it in Palm Bay, now pass it on.”
There are 280 million guns in the United States. Over 30,000 Americans die from guns each year, 4,000 of them are children. Most of the rest, 90 percent, are young, black men. But this is not just a black problem. If we don’t turn the tide, the increasing violence in the white and hispanic communities will also grow. Meanwhile 64 officers were killed in the line of duty in 2016, far more than should have been.
The state of Florida has one of the lowest rates of gun ownership in the nation, at 24.5 percent, but one of the highest rates of gun violence, at 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people.
“It’s time to stop pointing guns at each other and start talking to each other,” says Sammy Jackson, event promoter and minister. “Black lives matter – all lives matter. You cannot get respect if you don’t give respect, too.”
The organizers are bringing a Christian perspective to the fight against violence, asking individuals to take responsibility. They believe that hiring more law enforcement is not the answer, because that just increases the number of guns pointing at each other. Rather, they believe the answer has to come from the community, that people must make the decision to love one another as Jesus commanded.
The serious message of “Lay Down Your Gun and Love Your Enemies” will be complemented by the upbeat, fun approach of the music and entertainment on site. The event will take place at Lipcomb Community Park Center, 3316 Monroe Street, Melbourne, FLA. The organizers are still arranging sponsorships ands vendors, and invite anyone interested to contact them.