Monday, November 29, 2021
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Compton Community Engages Prayer to Fight Crime
By Cora Jackson-Fossett, Staff Writer
Published November 18, 2021

 

 

From left are Assemblymember Mike Gipson, Bishop Jack Wilson, Bishop Jawane Hilton, Rev. Dr. Michael Fisher, Bishop Maurice Johnson and Pastor Stanley Prince. (Cora J. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

 

 

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The callous murder of Pastor Reggie Moore enraged Compton’s faith community, resulting in the marshaling of the most powerful weapon in their arsenal – prayer!

An ecumenical and multicultural group of concerned citizens answered the call of the Rev. Dr. Michael J. Fisher to join him in a vigil and rally to beseech God’s guidance in catching Moore’s killers as well as erasing the criminal element from the city.

Moore, an associate minister at God of Christ Church in Compton, was fatally shot on October 24 near his church.  His family said the 67-year-old minister had just finished a Bible study class and was going to his car when the attack occurred in the 1100 block of Compton Boulevard near Dwight Avenue.

Rev. Fisher (in plaid shirt) addresses the crowd at the prayer vigil. (David E. Fossett)

“We are coming together to pray because our position in the city as clergy is to always cover the city in prayer. The second reason we’re doing it is so the neighborhood and community will know that the clergy is not divided on this issue about peace in our streets and unity in our neighborhood,” asserted Fisher, who is the senior pastor of Greater Zion Church Family and president of Pastors for Compton.

“We’re publicly standing together to declare that we won’t operate in fear. We’re also going to work toward a solution of protecting and guarding our city.”

About 75 clergy and community members participated in the vigil, which was sponsored by Pastors for Compton, along with ministerial alliances headed by Pastor Jack Wilson and Pastor George Thomas. Also, elected officials attended the event including Assemblymember Mike Gipson, Mayor Emma Sharif and Councilmember Isaac Galvin.

Gipson, as well as ministers such as Pastor Rayford Owens and Bishop Jawane Hilton, prayed for safety in the streets of Compton and for the peace of God to rule the city.

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Bishop Johnny Withers implored, “I need somebody to shout, ‘God stop the stubbornness of this city.’ Stubbornness go back to hell where you came from. I come to pray that whatever demonic force has loosed itself in this city, I bind up and send them back to hell where he has come from!”

Audience member filled the plaza outside Compton City Hall. (David E. Fossett)

With equal fierceness, Pastor Hector Monarrez affirmed, “In Ephesians 6:10, the Bible teaches that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. We war not against humanity, but the type that the devil declares ‘anything goes.’ That goes for gunning down a pastor!”

The entreaties to God not only resulted in shouts and applause, but also inspired audience members to use their influence to improve Compton.  Resident, Wanda Sanders said that the rally was a unifying event to “seriously do something” to redirect the trajectory of crime in the city.

“When you got people just walking down the street and their lives are gone, you know we’ve really got to do something about that. As a people, we come together in numbers and begin to pray because prayer changes things,” Sanders said.

Compton Mayor Emma Sharif thanks the pastors and community members for attending the rally. (Cora J. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

“In order for things to change, you’ve got to get to the heart of the people. Once you change their heart, you’ll change their mind,” she added.

Fisher also appealed to the public to support future events focused on uplifting Compton. The ministerial groups plan to unite with other organizations to hold faith-based activities like prayer rallies and tent revivals.

“We may also ask the public to lend support by coming to City Council meeting and challenging some of the policies we know are not good for our neighborhood and demand that better resources are brought to our community,” said Fisher.

Pastor Hector Monarrez encourages the crowd to be vigilant. (David E. Fossett)

“But, our faith is in the power of prayer. We know that when two or three are gathered in His name, we can expect great things to follow,” he insisted.

“This is just the beginning of what I believe will be many ecumenical gatherings that we’ll have in Compton in 2022. It’s everybody coming together under the strong name of Jesus Christ!”

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