A program called Gentlemen And Not Gangsters is working to prevent growing problems with teen violence in Nashville.
The G.A.N.G. program is a joint effort between Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in North Nashville and Metro’s juvenile justice program. It was started by Marcus Campbell, a pastor at the church and a former gang member, WKRN News 2 reports.
Five teens graduated Wednesday from the program, created for high-risk teens with gang ties. Not all teens complete the program, which requires attendance at weekly classes and evidence of changed behavior. The valedictorian this week was 17-year-old Larry Benson, a former gang member with arrests for breaking and entering. He has a son and told WKRN he is focused on taking care of his family.
“I was just being a person I know I’m not and I knew I could change,” Benson said. “I’m focusing on being good.”
Last month, WKRN reported on a rash of crimes committed by teens in the days leading up to spring break. They included shootings, carjackings, armed robberies and high-speed pursuits. In one case also reported by The Tennessee Star, three teens were arrested for firing shots at a North Nashville market because they said they did not get the right pizza toppings.
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Kudos to to Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church!
The Church in America will once again become relevant in society when it assumes its ordained responsibility. The Church has solutions for most social issues instead of turning to government whenever there’s a problem. Most social issues are issues of the heart. Jesus commanded His people and His Church to deal with these issues – not government.
John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The Church is the conscience of our nation. Good job, Church!