Gov. Matt Bevin issued his plea during a meeting in June at Western Middle School, which was packed with hundreds of pastors from throughout the city, as well as residents who wanted to hear his remarks on the matter.
“I personally believe in the power of prayer. I’ve seen it,” Bevin, a Southern Baptist, stated.
He asked that pastors and members of their congregations join together for one year to walk a block weekly, praying as they go and reaching out to their neighbors. While he personally plans to walk with his family, Bevin is leaving his recommendation in the hands of local Christians because his office is not organizing the initiative.
“You don’t need permission from me how to do it. You know, you walk to a corner, pray for the people, talk to people along the way,” he explained. “No songs, no singing, no bullhorn, no T-shirts, no chanting. Be pleasant, talk to the people, that’s it.”
According to reports, there were 52 homicide investigations in Louisville by June of this year. The city is also plagued with an opioid problem, as well as homelessness.
Bevin noted that his plan to combat violence is multifaceted and prayer is just one aspect of the fight. “This isn’t in any way, shape, or form trying to take the place of other things that have got to be done,” he said. “But this is something that we firmly believe will make [a] difference in our community.”