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Church leaders push to end neighborhood violence

Church leaders kick off a campaign to end violence in Columbia’s neighborhoods.

On Saturday, Rev. Melvin Stapleton held a rally and barbecue at his church, Restoration Life Ministries on the corner of Forest and Grand in central Columbia.

Stapleton and other community church leaders have taken up the effort to curb violence in neighborhoods with a campaign to promote positivity. Stapleton said action had to be taken after two shootings near his church in just one month.

“Letting our presence be known because I think that’s the most important thing, is to let our presence be known. And the more positive events that we have like this, I think the more we’ll discourage violence and crime in this area,” Stapleton said.

Stapleton said he and other church leaders will visit different neighborhoods each Friday night to bring visibility to the issue of violence.

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