On Saturday morning, Jasperites joined together for a peaceful protest against social injustice. Then on Sunday evening, Jasperites joined together for a prayer vigil for the community.
The prayer vigil was organized primarily by the Revs. David Artessa of Monticello Baptist Church and Jimmy Horton of Springfield Baptist Church. Pastors and lay people from numerous other churches took part in the program.
Rev. Horton kicked off the evening by welcoming everyone. Then various people from throughout the community provided prayers, inspirational words, and music. A storm began brewing and winds got up about 8 p.m., and the program was rushed a little. It concluded just before 9 p.m. and then the rain fell.
On Saturday, people congregated together at West View Park at 9 a.m. for gathering and prayer before heading out to downtown Monticello. The group included people from different ages, races, social economic status, and denominations all for the same purpose: to stand up and be a part of the movement against injustices. With the help of law enforcement, they walked around the Square holding signs and chanting for change before coming to a stop on the steps of Jasper County Courthouse.
Pat Braswell Standifer joined the protesters as a guest speaker and to share a warm prayer. She stated “we have to learn to walk together in unity. We, as a community, must stick together, stand together and put God first. If you put God first there is no room for hate. There has to be something done about what is going on! All lives do matter, but we have a situation here and it is time for change!”
Throughout her prayer, she prayed for peace and guidance for our community, youth, government leaders, police officers, and health care providers.
Other members involved stated the importance of educating the young people in the community and how they must stand up and speak up. “Our city and county can no longer sit in fear and silence and expect change to occur!” was a resounding message.
“The younger generations are the future of the world and we must all teach them the histories of the world and lead them on the right path to change and justice for all,” said Bethany Watts, one of the organizers.
This Saturday, June 20, at 10 a.m. a “Blackout for Our Boys” will be held at the outside pavilion of Springfield Baptist Church. This is an event honoring Juneteenth and to educate and teach the community on how to make a difference in these ongoing difficult times. Men and boys are encouraged to wear all black. All are welcome! Social distancing will be enforced and masks are encouraged.
The Democratic Party of Jasper County has restarted meetings. Meetings are held the first Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at The Funderburg House. Anyone who would like to voice concerns or hear about ways to help the communities within Jasper County, is asked to join.