CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than 30 churches, choirs and community members sang and sent prayers together Wednesday in hopes of a positive change throughout Charleston and surrounding areas.
Churches, choirs and community members gathered Wednesday evening at the Haddad Riverfront Park for prayers of positivity.
"Pastor Crozier got the community to come together to pray for our city and pray over our children against suicide and against murder," said Tia Welch, a pastor and mother. "You know, a lot of things are happening in our city, but we want to be part of the solution not part of the problem."
Pastor Wayne Crozier organized the event and says the idea came to him since his job also entails being on the front line of a teenage crisis.
"Being a pastor, there are so many reports or people talk to me about teenagers that are just stressed out, slitting their wrist or taking pills. Seems like things are out of proportion," Crozier said.
Crozier says the goal is to change lives, hoping no one takes their own or someone else's too soon.
"It's better to be proactive," he said. "A lot of times we wait until a tragedy occurs and then are reactive. We do things sometimes without a strategy or without a long-term goal, so I just thought it's better to do something where there's nothing bad or wrong, and let's try to do something preventative."
Welch says bringing her children to the event was important to her so they know that everyone cares.
"The church is part of the community and the community is part of the church and I think when we come together for events such as these it's important to have our children come to see that there are individuals who love them, who care about them and who are concerned," Welch said.
Welch also hopes that the churches and community all unite more often, in and outside of events.
"I hope out of this tonight that we have come together as a church and community and go back into our respective communities and churches, schools and neighborhoods and being conversation," she said. "Talk to our young people and let them know there's hope for them."
Community members hope for more events like this in the near future.