On Sunday afternoon, the people of Alamance County came together for a peaceful walk through the streets of Haw River. Approximately 400 residents of all colors convened for an act of local unity, spearheaded by local business leaders and Beyond Measure Ministries.
“Are you ready to create some peace in the community? Make some noise for peace,” said Pastor Shannon Long of Beyond Measure Ministries just prior to the start of the march. “This is amazing. This is what it’s about - us coming together in unity.”
The organized group walked peacefully and quietly along Highway 70, eventually turning towards Haw River Elementary School and making their way across the Haw River Bridge.
Many held signs with slogans including “Black Lives Matter” and “I Don’t Know Your Pain, But I Vow to Help You Heal.” They came from all over - people of all ages and races - in a showing of community solidarity and healing.
“This is a peace walk. One of the great things that we’ve been stressing - we want to promote non-violence,” Long explained. “We want to promote peace. We know what’s been going on across the world - all the social injustices that have taken place. However, we’re going to be peaceful. We are a partner with the local community, with the local authorities.”
“Why are we crossing the bridge? It’s symbolic for bridging the gap. What gap? You know what the gap is,” Long added in his pre-march speech. “The fact that all of us are coming out here together, in unity - the Bible says, Oh how good and pleasant it is for brethren to rejoice in unity. We’re going to walk in unity. We’re going to talk in unity.”
Haw River Police Chief Toby Harrison acknowledged the marchers with some brief comments, letting them know that local law enforcement supporting them and their mission.
“First, just let me say thank you for having us here - including us in this peace march - because we care about our community, just like everybody that is here,” Chief Harrison stated. “Our community is hurting. Our nation is hurting. We’re all feeling a lot of pain. And we’ve got to figure out a way to bridge that gap. And I’m not going to sit here and say a bunch of words. Because words, at the end of the day, are empty. It’s time for action. And we all know that.”
“We’re here to march with you. To stand with you. So let’s make some great change across this nation,” Harrison concluded.
Darrell Cox, the lead Pastor of Trinity Worship Center, gave a stirring prayer leading up to the march.
“Lord, we are one in you. You died to make us one. You died to take down the walls of hostility that divide us. We thank you that we’re here today. We thank you for Beyond Measure’s Church. We thank you for Pastor Long. We thank you for the unity that we sense today,” Cox prayed.
“And as we walk, Lord, we walk together. We walk as one people. Saved by you. Delivered by you. Loved by you. Created by you. We are created in your image. We are one people. You’re our God - one God. One flock. One pasture. That’s who we are, Lord. We thank you for the opportunity to stand and walk together. We pray for healing in our nation. We need your help, Lord. Heal the hurt. Heal the pain. We pray that you would restore us. We pray that you would break down division. Break down anger. We pray that you would bring peace to our nation. But most of all, that you would bring equality.”