Williston faith leaders, residents respond with prayer to recent racial tension within their community

Nearly 100 people gathered outside of a Williston city council meeting to pray for healing within their town in response to comments made by Mayor Jerry Robinson denouncing the Black Lives Matter movement.
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 11:23 PM EDT
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WILLISTON, Fla. (WCJB) -Gathering in prayer, not protest, is what brought a group of community members to Williston City Hall outside of a council meeting to push one agenda item- community healing.

Through worship and prayer, the group sent a message of faith to combat fear in their home.

“It is absolutely a statement, there is no mistaking that,” said Pastor Johnnie Jones III, the organizer of the event.

Jones led the group under his non-profit, Ministerial Faith Alliance Inc. Jones said they made a point to align their event with the city council meeting.

“The direct statement to Mayor Jerry Robinson and anyone else who thinks like Mayor Robinson thinks is that Black Lives Matter and that is a statement that we stand behind and we support,” mentioned Jones. “We’re not here as a part of a BLM movement, we’re here tonight to represent our community.”

The statement in question is one made by Mayor Jerry Robinson to TV20 early this month.

“I don’t support the black lives matter movement, period,” said Robinson. He refused to comment on the event following the meeting.

“it’s taken a negative light on our community and that’s not all Williston is,” said resident Stacee Strange. She wants to show the positive of her home by leading by example.

“We have to be the change we want to see,” added Strange. “It’s easy for me to tell you what to do and to tell you how to do it but when you see me doing it and you see me in action, I think that’s more powerful. So this was my part and doing what I can do to help change my community.”

It’s the change the group is working towards one prayer at a time.

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