Chattanooga Minister Headed To Missouri To Stand With People Of Ferguson

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Rev. Brian Merritt is headed to Ferguson, Mo. Wednesday, answering a call “on the members and congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA), over 90 percent of whom are white, to stand with the people of Ferguson and 'witness against and strive against' systemic, institutionalized racial injustice.”

The Rev. Landon Whitsitt, executive and stated clerk of the Synod of Mid-America, made the call on Tuesday and will arrive in Ferguson on Friday.  Rev. Whitsitt wrote: “If you live in or around St. Louis please come and walk with the protestors. Listen to their cries, and join them in the call for justice. If you live further away, find the members of your own community who are standing against this injustice. Listen to their cries, and join them in their own call for justice.”

Protests have continued in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson since police shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. The demonstrators have been met with a militarized police force that has turned rubber bullets and tear gas on the people. Along with abuses to protesters, police have arrested, detained and targeted journalists and human rights workers, said officials. 

The police response has resulted in Amnesty International deploying a human rights team to Ferguson, the first time the organization has ever made such a deployment within the United States; and, has Egypt calling on authorities to use restraint in responding to the protests. 

The results of an independent autopsy showed that Brown was shot at least six times, all shots were fired from the front and one shot was to the top of his skull. A public funeral for Brown is scheduled for Monday. 

In his call, Rev. Whitsitt wrote: “Sisters and brothers, we must stand arm in arm with the people of Ferguson. Black bodies matter and our white bodies will signify that the killing of black bodies is unacceptable.”

In answering the call, Rev. Merritt said, “As a minister I feel compelled to heed Rev. Landon Whittsitt's challenge to Presbyterian ministers to 'do more than simply watch.' As a peacemaker in the Presbyterian church, I am going in solidarity with those whose human rights are being denied by police brutality, racial profiling, and the militarization of the police force. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has a strong social witness toward justice and believes that we must 'as the possession of God … stand where the Lord stands, namely against the injustice of the wronged.' I go to represent Mercy Junction of Chattanooga and Christ's call to stand with those persecuted.”

Read Whitsitt's complete text at this link: http://synodma.org/blog/2014/8/19/a-call-to-presbyterians-to-stand-in-solidarity-with-the-people-of-ferguson

For updates from Merritt's time in Ferguson, follow Mercy Junction's page at facebook.com/MercyJunction. Donations to support Mercy Junction can be sent by Paypal to opentableexchange@gmail.com or mailed to Mercy Junction, P.O. Box, 4074, Chattanooga TN 37405. 



Ridgeview Baptist Celebrates 70th Anniversary On Sept. 13

Ridgeview Baptist Church, 6 North Moore Road in Chattanooga, will be observing their 70th Anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 13.  Guest speaker will be former pastor and director of Strategic Planning for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, Dr. Gary Rickman. Other events will include a theatrical production of The Brainerd Mission Project, and a dedication honoring the late Rev. ... (click for more)

All Sons And Daughters To Open Lee’s Fall U-Church Series

Lee University’s fall U-Church series will offer another diverse line-up for this fall, providing students with the opportunity to worship together in an atypical chapel format. The line-up includes All Sons and Daughters this month, Unity Dance Troupe in October, and the student-led “An Evening of Worship” in November.  Opening the season on Sept. 13 will be All Sons and ... (click for more)

Trustee To Be Appointed To Oversee Hutcheson Medical Center Bankruptcy With Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

A trustee will be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy case of Hutcheson Medical Center with a focus on getting the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital sold. The U.S. Trustee's Office had filed a motion asking that the bankruptcy be dissolved due to the debt rising to $6.3 million since the bankruptcy was filed last November. However, all parties finally agreed it was ... (click for more)

Civic, Political Leader Mai Bell Hurley Dies At 87

Civic and political leader Mai Bell Hurley has died at age 87. She was the first woman to serve on the Chattanooga City Council. Ms. Hurley was also a longtime advocate for the arts and a leader in United Way. She was a leader in Chattanooga Venture that led to the redevelopment of downtown and the riverfront.  She most recently served on the Library Board. ... (click for more)

Does The Signal Mountain Town Council Take Its Constituents As Fools?

You've got to hand it to the Signal Mountain Town Council. In their scheme to change the zoning on Signal Mountain from 1/2 an acre to 1/4 an acre they get more creative by the day in coming up with justifications for doing something a majority of their constituents are squarely against.   They started off by hiding behind a poor widow who had fallen on hard times. She had ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Ain’t A Whirlygust

I have lived in and around the State of Tennessee my entire life and I have spent that last 50 years writing words in stories every day. I love clever words, words that fit perfectly in a sentence. I also like funny words, clever phrases and all sorts of “slang” words. This week the Slate website came out with “The United Slang of America” and, naturally, I was eager to see what ... (click for more)