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Former Los Angeles gang bangers preach the Word of God

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On November 10th and 11th, urban-based ministers and former gang bangers who have turned their lives over to God were featured as speakers and panelists at the first "The Joshua Assignment, Going Back To Help Our Brothers" Summit at the Saints Of Value Ministry Training Center in Norwalk, CA.

The theme is based on the Biblical story in Joshua 1:13-16 of how Joshua reminded the men, who had entered the Promised Land, that God commanded Moses to tell them to go back to help their brothers who had not yet crossed over, enter the Promised Land as well.

This God-inspired event which was hosted by this writer, Pastor Clifford Wright. The summit featured preachers, Christian Rap Artists, singers and musicians who have survived the gang infested neighborhoods such as South-Central Los Angeles and Compton, CA. As Christian business man, James Carthun stated, “he got a pass".

Each speaker shared riveting details about their dangerous past and how God transformed their lives. Not all of these men participated in gang wars, but as one young minister, C.J. Island said, “many of those gang bangers were their childhood friends".

I recounted how growing up in the Avalon Gardens Housing Projects in the 60's and 70s made such a lasting impression on me caused me to search the Bible for answers to why so many young black men became victims to gang violence. I explained how the similarities between the Children of Israel's 40 year wilderness experience and the birth of the Crips and Bloods about 40 years ago is astounding.

I explained how the mindset of the gangs in that era has produced an alarming amount of deaths in our neighborhoods over the last 40 years. Sadly, one of the men in attendance had recently lost is son due to gang violence. One of my childhood friend's young niece was killed in a drive-by shooting while playing in her front yard.

Pastor Tony Davis was an innocent victim actually died from multiple gun shots wounds, but came back to life. The young men who shot him committed this violent crime as part of a gang initiation. The men were spell-bound as they listened to Pastor Tony's powerful testimony of how he died, went to Heaven and God brought him back to life to finish his purpose.

There were many other wonderful highlights including Min. Malcolm McNeal singing a God-inspired version of the Marvin Gaye hit song, “What’s Going On". He was also transparent about his past and his transformation to a true man of God.

Christian Rap Artist, Emmanuel Praise who has worked with some of the biggest names in the musical world, including the late Tupac Shakur, shared his thought-provoking DVD, "Repent". He also talked about the importance of "Community Re-Engineering", which is to use your gifts and skills to empower yourself through business strategies and help others do the same.

Other speakers included, New Mount Moriah Baptist Church pastor, Rev. Benjamin Island, Pastor Jason Green, Prophet Eric Phillips, Saxophonist, Elder Gary James and New Day Christian Fellowship Youth Minister, Sean Aubrey who exposed us to some insights about how Hip Hop music is negatively influencing the younger generation.

Saints of Value Ministry Training Center was founded by Apostle Vickie Lee. Her mission is to use the center as training ground for men and women who are called into the ministry. To learn more about S.O.V. Ministries you can click this link.

Your comments are welcome,

Praying 4 U
CFW

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