PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

April 13, 2013

Locals rally to “keep the peace”

PORT ARTHUR — Gospel music, comedy and mime ministry combined together as a group of people worked to restore peace in the community one step at a time Friday night.

The message was simple — Peace, Hope and PA, printed upon gray T-shirt worn by various members of the community during the Port Arthur Keep the Peace rally at First Sixth Street Baptist Church.

Sunlight beamed in through stained glass windows of the church as a DJ spun the tunes and a woman held a small child on her lap while moving to the beat of the gospel music.

“We need to keep the peace,” Nate Mingo, comedian, said as he moved to more serious conversation during his skit. “A lot of my generation is lost. We gotta get it together.”

Mingo’s comedy was a mix of comments about everyday life sprinkled with a plea for peace in the city he calls home.

Jefferson County Constable Pct. 2 Christopher Bates addressed the constantly growing crowd inside the church by stating the reason for the rally.

“In the past few weeks we’ve encountered something in the city that shocked us,” Bates said referring to multiple shootings and the shooting death of Marcus “Big Country” Senegal.

Bates, 27, a native of Port Arthur , admitted he doesn’t like to hear negative things said about the city he loves and that the community needs to come together as a whole in order to accomplish things.

He also addressed the issue that some people in the community have a distrust for members of law enforcement.

“I’ve spoke with kids in my work in the past and they don’t like police. There’s a bad mentality there,” he said. “We need the community to come together. Things aren’t perfect but we need people to speak to police when they’re investigating something.”

Bates looked to his faith for answers.

“I want to ask everybody to just show some love,” he said.

Through the rally organizers and church members hoped to encourage youth to avoid senseless violence, introduce them to alternative strategies of conflict resolution, bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community and offer Christ to all participants.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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