Springfield clergy group to hold Prayer March Sunday

A Springfield clergy group will march through Springfield on Sunday to call attention to discrimination and unequal treatment under the law for minorities. HASAN KARIM/STAFF

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A Springfield clergy group will march through Springfield on Sunday to call attention to discrimination and unequal treatment under the law for minorities. HASAN KARIM/STAFF

A group of Springfield clergy will march six miles through the city to call attention to discrimination, police brutality, racial profiling and unequal treatment under the law for minorities on Sunday.

The Prayer March is 1 to 5 p.m. starting at Southgate Baptist Church, 2111 S. Center Blvd., and ending at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 2643 N. Limestone St. The march will include several stops at different churches along the route for prayer, songs and inspirational messages.

Bobby Hile, the Pastor at Southgate Baptist Church, explained that The Simunye Group, a multi-racial group of pastors, meet weekly to talk about issues of race and ethnicity. He said that The Simunye Group joined forces with another group, Becoming Beloved Community, to establish a Community Law Enforcement Advisory Team focusing on equal protection of minorities under the law in Springfield and Clark County.

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During a Community Law Enforcement Advisory Team meeting, Hile said they shared the idea of the Prayer March.

“It’s important to do a Prayer March because we want to make a positive statement as opposed to a negative statement,” Hile said. “Positively, we want to identify, from our perspective, we believe in Genesis 1:26-27 that says God created man, in his image and likeness, so we affirm the value of every human being because they are image bearers.”

He added, “When an image bearer is mistreated or treated unjustly that’s not just an offense to other people, but it’s also an offense to God.”

Hile explained that they value human life “from the womb to the tomb” and because of that when something happens that threatens human life - they will “graciously” speak out against it.

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The Prayer March is specifically for clergy, Hile said. The group planned the march in this way to limit the number of people and to minimize the possible spread of COVID-19.

“As ministries of the Gospel, we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope and the only solution,” Hile said. “We’re doing our best to demonstrate what that is supposed to look like.”

The organizers of the Prayer March have communicated with the Springfield police chief and city manager to ensure a safe route, Hile added.

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