Local woman says God led her to hold Stop the Violence event

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, April 3, 2019

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — Jackie Holmes, a local daycare owner, says that God spoke to her and told her the community needed to hold an event to promote peace and unity in the local community. Holmes told the Times-Recorder she had felt God guiding her toward thie end ever since her nephew, Andre Ingram, was killed in gun violence on the night of Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 3 in Americus.
“There’s so much that’s going in our community,” Holmes said. “I love Americus and wanted to say ‘stop the violence.’ Americus has always been a peaceful community. We didn’t have to deal with violence. But it’s a new day and time and everything has changed.” Holmes said that after God “put it on her heart,” she moved ahead with her plans. “I’m not an activist,” she said. “I just want to help the community to come together, to be together, black and white, the entire community. I felt the Holy Spirit there as we stood together in unity, to stop the violence.”
So, Holmes did host the event: Stop the Violence: A Prayer Concert from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 30 at Lenny’s Market in downtown Americus.
Holmes chaired the planning committee that included Bishop Melvin McCluster of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Mathis Wright (president of the local branch of the NAACP), Porscha Ingram, Melinda Davis, and Evangelist Buford Snipes.

Americus Police Chief Mark Scott, who is also an ordained minister, was on the program as well.

Local educator Derrica Holmes served as emcee for the event. There was musical entertainment from Lynn Tyson, Shannon Gordon and Kway Smith, as well as a praise dance by De’Angela Tullis. Spiritual leaders on the program included the bishop, as well as the Rev. Ronrico Gordon. Other speakers included Americus Mayor Barry Blount, Sumter County Sheriff Chief Deputy Col. Eric Bryant, and Americus Police Chief Mark Scott, who is also an ordained minister.
Holmes said that while only about 50 people attended the event, she felt it was a successful start, and hopes that as others become involved, perhaps it will grow in frequency and community participation.
Food was cooked by members of Americus Fire & Emergency Services, Americus Police Department, and Men on a Mission. Holmes thanked Americus City Manager Charles Coney for providing street blockage and portapotties for the event.
“The people who did attend, they came, they ate, and they prayed,” she said.