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Adventists help to restore peace in Baltimore, USA

Adventists help to restore peace in Baltimore, USA

Clergy walking through Baltimore (Columbia Union)

Bern, Switzerland [M. Bernard, Adventist Review, CD EUDNews]. April 29, 2015. Three local Adventist pastors did just that on Monday evening, joining a group of clergy on a walk through Baltimore to encourage young people to stop rioting and looting.

April 29, 2015 | M. Bernard, Adventist Review, CD EUDNews.

Bern, Switzerland [M. Bernard, Adventist Review, CD EUDNews]. April 29, 2015.

Three local Adventist pastors did just that on Monday evening, joining a group of clergy on a walk through Baltimore to encourage young people to stop rioting and looting.

“Tonight God used the clergy to prevent loss of life,” Reginald Exum, pastor of the Edmondson Heights Adventist Church, said shortly after the walk.

“I held gang members in my arms, and we wept together,” he said. “Now they know they have a God and a pastor who empathizes with them.”

The other two Adventist pastors who participated in the walk were David Franklin of the Miracle Temple Adventist Church and DuWayne Privette of the Sharon Adventist Church.

The North American Division applauded the three pastors, saying they had “embodied love and compassion” by taking to the streets to call for a nonviolent solution. It said the church was “ready to provide any and all resources necessary to help transform an oppressed, hopeless people into a vibrant, thriving community filled with hope.”

As part of that attempt, Adventist volunteers from Adventist Community Services, and the Columbia Union, Allegheny East, and Chesapeake conferences were to join the Baltimore community in post-clash cleanup efforts on Wednesday.

“Pray for these volunteers,” the North American Division said.

Monday’s clashes marked a sharp escalation in tensions from Saturday, when a peaceful protest of 1,200 people turned violent at night.

Darryl Smith, a Baltimore police officer and member of the Capitol Hill Adventist Church in Washington, said he got an inkling of how Jesus might have felt on trial before Pilate when the Saturday night crowd struck him with several bricks.

“When the crowd started cursing and yelling and chanting, I felt like I could imagine what it must have been like for Jesus when Pilate asked the crowd what to do with Jesus and they yelled, ‘Crucify Him!’” Smith said. “I could feel a demonic spirit go through the crowd and then they became more violent.”

Smith was not injured.

“I think this is only going to get worse as we approach the end time and the Lord comes to take us home,” Smith said. “But Jesus is not coming only for black people, or only for white people, or Asian people. He comes for those who have on the right uniform — those who are covered by the blood of Jesus.”

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