Community comes together to pray

Local News

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Pastors, church members and community leaders came together in Central Park on Saturday to speak and pray about gun violence.

It was a call to action. The event, called Hands in Central Park, was first held in 2019. Event organizer Marvell Manns says there is a need to hold it more than there ever was before.

“God gave me the vision of doing this because of what’s going on in the community,” Manns said. “So many children, so many youths are falling dead in the community.”

They had speakers who have been impacted by gun violence in the past. Event speaker Shemuel Sanders lost his daughter in a shooting.

“I started my outreach last year after the death of my daughter,” Sanders said.

Michelle Oberheim, sister-in-law of fallen Champaign Police Officer Chris Oberheim, also spoke at the event. She says it’s important to come together no matter who you are.

“Our lives have changed since my brother-in-law passed away in May,” Michelle said. “We need to be unified in all things that matter because that’s the only way that we’re going to see changes in people’s lives,”

The event happened just four minutes from where a shooting happened hours before.

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