Mercy Junction Holding Candlelight Vigil For Missouri Teenager Killed By Police

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mercy Junction, along with St. Marks United Methodist and Renaissance Presbyterian churches, will hold a candlelight vigil and prayer service on Monday evening, following the funeral of the Missouri teenager who was killed by police on Aug. 9.  The Chattanooga vigil is part of a nationally coordinated action with events taking place in cities across the United States.  The vigil and prayer service will be on the Walnut Street Bridge, beginning at 8 p.m. Mercy Junction invites other faith communities to join in hosting the event.

The Walnut Street Bridge was chosen as the location for the prayer vigil because of its direct ties to Chattanooga's own tragic race history. In 1906, Ed Johnson, a young black man, was murdered by a lynch mob on the bridge despite a stay of execution issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Missouri, a public funeral will be held for 18-year-old Michael Brown, on Monday.
Protests have continued in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson since police shot the unarmed black teenager nearly two weeks ago.

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, and raided a church that was offering safe space to organizers and activists.

The police response 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 even resulted in 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.

The Rev. Brian Merritt, founder and evangelist at Mercy Junction, traveled to Ferguson last week, after the Rev. Landon Whitsitt, executive and stated clerk of the Synod of Mid-America issued 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.”

Rev. Merritt will talk about his time in Ferguson at Monday night's event. This will be followed by prayers and the lighting of candles.

Faith communities who wish to join as hosts can contact Mercy Junction Social Justice Coordinator Beth Foster at 423-457-2519 or email holyhereticzine@gmail.com. Names of other faith communities joining will be added to the event on Mercy Junction's page at facebook.com/MercyJunction.



Men In Ministry Event At Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist On June 24

The public is invited to Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 1115 North Moore Road in Chattanooga on June 24 at 10:45 a.m. as they celebrate "Men In Ministry."  The guest speaker will be Dr. Bryan Johnson, Hamilton County School Superintendent. (click for more)

BYU President Kevin Worthen Speaks In Chattanooga June 22

Kevin J. Worthen, president of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, will speak on Friday, June 22, at 7 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3067 Ooltewah Ringgold Road. Mr. Worthen will be accompanied by his wife, Peggy.  All are invited to attend.  The event is free.  Mr. Worthen is coming to Chattanooga because of the high number of BYU ... (click for more)

Man Shot In The Leg By Police On Tunnel Boulevard

A man was shot in the leg by police after responding to a disorder with a weapon call on Tunnel Boulevard on Saturday night.   The suspect suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.   Officers responded at 7:27 p.m. in the 400 block of Tunnel Boulevard.   Police said, "Upon arrival officers located a male suspect matching the description given by witnesses ... (click for more)

Floyd Charged With Fighting Police Officer On Station Street In Incident Caught On Video

Police have charged 21-year-old William Alexander Floyd after a fight with an officer on Station Street that was caught on video and quickly shared on social media. Floyd, of Ringgold, Ga., was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, vandalism, public intoxication and resisting arrest. Police said they were providing crowd control in front of Regans Dance Club when a fight ... (click for more)

Will Chattanooga Miss Another Reinvestment Opportunity?

In April, First Tennessee Bank and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition announced an agreement on a $3.9 billion reinvestment plan for economic development in low to moderate income communities under the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. The Chattanooga Times Free Press soon followed with an article reviewing the plan in depth. The plan presented Chattanooga, as well as ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Driving In Reverse

When I was putting together The Saturday Funnies column the other day, there was a particular quote that resonated with me. The great writer Jodi Picoult once said, "My dad used to say that living with regrets was like driving a car that only moved in reverse." I love that and it’s true. Some hours later, as my dog and I sat in the dark, I thought a little more about that. If ... (click for more)