Greater St. John Bible Church hosted a prayer and protest march Dec. 7 in support of the families of police shooting victims Michael Brown of FergusonMissouri and Eric Garner of Staten Island New York.

The march followed a prayer shortly after the Sunday morning service. The congregation, led by church pastor, the Rev. Ira Acree, prayed for both families and for improved police and community relations nationwide. Church members shouted “hands up, don’t shoot; black life matters.”

Sunday’s event was among many peaceful protests, as well as some that have turned violence, in the wake of the non-indictment decisions in the last two weeks in Ferguson and Staten Island.  

“I think it’s crucial that everyone comes out and speak out in any manner that they can to let their voices be heard,” Acree said in the statement prior to Sunday’s peaceful Greater St. John protest. “Sadly, once again the judicial system has let the African-American community down. We are in a shameful season for justice in America. We will protest peacefully, but we will not keep quiet, until justice rolls down like water and righteousness as a mighty stream.”

—Terry Dean