The disturbing story of Michael Brown has gripped the nation and sent the greater St. Louis area into a frenzy. With each day, speculation, cynicism and impatience grow among residence of Ferguson in Missouri. The Show-Me-State is crippled by an investigation that to date has failed to 'show' anything but what countless bystanders claim to have seen. In the midst of all that is unravelling, two area gospel music artists have stepped up today to the address the public and share a message of hope with residents and the Michael Brown's family.
Evangelist Faye Mosby is a gospel recording artist and former St. Louis resident. She lived in the area for many years and her children and grandchildren still live in the area very close to the epicenter of this recent tragedy.
In her own words:
I lived, shopped and went to church very close to where the Michael Brown shooting took place. My furniture was recently moved from the Public Storage that is directly across the street from the Canfield Apartment entrance. I have two grown children still living in St. Louis. My teenage grandson has maternal relatives that live in and around those apartments, therefore he frequents the area.
I receive news alerts from a station in St. Louis, so when I saw a teen had been shot and the area where it took place I immediately called my son to check in. All is well with my family, but I can't breathe a sigh of relief because so much suffering is taking place for the family and Ferguson residents. I raised an African American male child in suburbia and he experienced racial profiling on a regular basis. As an adult he continues to have encounters just for walking and driving while Black.
My resolve is to take a strong stance in prayer. Even though I have received verbal attacks on Facebook for my post concerning a call to prayer, I will continue. The emotions of many African Americans have reached the pressure point and exploded into rage. I do not condone violence, but I understand how it evolves.
I want to encourage all who will read this article to get control of your anger and emotions. As I look back rioting has never resolved issues, if it had we would not continue to see history repeating itself. My prayer is that believers become as one in consistent and fervent prayer. We must pray for our spiritual and natural leaders. We need to come out of our four walls (of the church) and address black on black crime so that others don't feel the liberty to kill and destroy us. We need to get more active in every aspect of government.
I want to let the Brown family know that I am praying for them and that I admire the strength and grace that Mike Brown's mother has shown. God is not your last resort, He is your only resort. I am praying that the truth comes forth from every witness including Darren Wilson.
Thurman B. Thornton II (TBII) is a resident of St. Louis and is reeling from the impact these events have taken on Ferguson and surrounding areas. For TBII, the heartbreak is two fold as he watches the community grieve and simultaneously destroy itself. Thornton had this to say about the unrest in Ferguson:
"To live in St. Louis, it is truly heartbreaking to see the horror that is going on in Ferguson!! I don't know what disturbs me more...the killing of yet another young black man, the obvious lies from the officers of the law or the behavior of the people that are looting, fighting, and destroying the neighborhood.
Riots never solve anything, they actually have added to the problem and because of the real issue is being avoided. I am all for peaceful protests, organized sit-ins and meetings to see that true justice is served. I along with some of my ministry and industry partners have organized different national prayer calls for the family of Michael Brown, the city of St. Louis and just Ferguson period.
It's time to stop acting out of emotion and start moving into purpose. This is yet even more evidence that Jesus is soon to return and it is important that we the assigned minstrels and ministers of the church be on our post to witness to souls, pray for people and really build the Kingdom. We must give our communities back to God in order for unity to happen. Fight with our brains not guns. There are concerts being organized by artists in this city to assist in the saving of our city.
I employ all to prayer, fast, read your bible and then physically get involved with helping justice be served and helping these acts stop! Once again we must not riot, we must repent and re-evaluate our lives and give it all back to The Lord.
These artists have so eloquently voiced what needs to be heard and shared in Ferguson. As details emerge, it's doubtful that peace and calm will also. These noted artists have lent their voice to this situation but their music is also apropos. Mosby's single: "My Worship Is My Warfare" touches the spiritual aspect of this broken situation. Like Mosby in her song, Ferguson residents will find their victory through this in their worship.
Thornton has released new music today, but his hit "Fresh Start" begins with this lyric: "out with the old, in with the new. I've been so bound, I need a breakthrough..." For Ferguson, a town on the brink of social collapse, a fresh start is exactly what is needed.