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Local church hopes to bring positive change to community where deadly shootout happened

Posted at 1:42 PM, Mar 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-08 19:06:11-04

CLEVELAND — Members of a church of on Cleveland’s east side are looking at Saturday night's shootout on East 93rd Street and Way Avenue as a gateway to bring positivity to their community.

Some clergy members of Whole Armor of God Ministries say they had no idea that a shootout happened just across the street Saturday night. Now, the church’s pastor says its reinvigorated her mission and why the church is there in the first place.

“Disheartening. Shocked. Sad.”

Those are just some of the emotions Pastor Janice Renee Erving says she felt when she heard about last night’s shooting. But then, one more.

“And then on fire knowing that the churches, we need to come together and let the people feel the love and know what we are about in this community.”

Whole Armor of God Ministries has been on East 93rd Street for nearly two years.

Erving says she’s heard negative things about the area from other people, but felt a calling to put the church there to uplift and make a difference in the community.

“My thing is, things happen, stuff happens, violence happens everywhere. People are reluctant to come on 93rd, but there’s some love on 93rd.”

She believes the community can bounce back after last night’s violence – and is hoping to bring local churches together to make it happen.

“Love, love, love. And its more than just a word, it is action. And its time for us to really show love in this community and take it back.

Erving says a friend of hers suggested that she buy the building where the shooting happened. She says she didn’t really consider it at the time, but now she says it may be an option to turn it into a place for community outreach.

RELATED: Cleveland police: Shooting between 'two rival groups' left multiple people injured, 1 dead

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.