August 1, 2013
Letters to the bishop…
Bishop: After reading your Bishop Speaks column last week entitled “Now it’s East Cleveland… Here We Go Again… Lord Have Mercy,” I had to write you. My husband and I, with two teenage boys, have been living in East Cleveland now for three years. After my mother passed away, her home was passed on to me as her only daughter in her will, paid in full upon her death. On this street, we’ve just about seen crime in every way shape and form right before our very eyes. My husband and I have attended City Council meetings only to leave out the meetings embarrassed at the way East Cleveland City Leaders act toward themselves. Often, my husband and I have had to deal with the different gangs trying to get our boys to join. With the latest findings, we’ve now put my mother’s house up for sale and will be moving out before the school year starts in September. My husband and I have made up our minds that, even if we don’t get a buyer for the house, we will still be moving out of East Cleveland not only for the safety of our sons but for peace of mind. I’m angry because leaving my mother’s home – a gift to me – is like another death taking place. Yet, I can’t continue to live in a community that seems to be totally out of control. My husband and I know that crime is everywhere and you cannot run from it but we also know that elsewhere may be less crime than where we’re at now. I didn’t have a question, wanted you to know that my husband and I agree with you 100 percent that we as Black people must pull together and work for a cause not for applause. Live to express not to impress and let go of the egos. I see so many Black leaders get caught up in instead of dealing with some real hard issues facing Black communities all across the nation.
Bishop: Your points last week hit hard for me as a Christian, who attends church every Sunday as well as the spiritual programs during the week. At the last meeting with our pastor, I quoted just what you said, “Sometimes we’re so heavenly bound that we’re no earthly good.” Our church sits right in the middle of crime and, often, we hear gun shots, people screaming and running during Sunday service. As we enter the church, we see young thugs selling drugs while our men, including the deacons and the pastor, come right on in the building and have good church services. Our church air conditioner was taken out of the church window and, until we finally got a security guard to watch cars during services on Sundays and mid-week. Six cars were stolen in a two month period as the pastor would always say, “The Devil is Busy.” My son laughed when I told the pastor “The devil doesn’t need a ride.” Bishop, I think that if the Black church is suppose to be the strongest institution in the community then it should start making a difference in what’s happening around it. Our church does give out food once a month as well as a hot meal yet I feel the church needs to teach these hurting individuals how to become empowered themselves. Didn’t Jesus address the human man as well as the spiritual side of him? Your ministry bishop does this all the time with your many programs at your church I’ve read and heard. I know you already realize this bishop as I’ve heard you on the news, radio talk shows say this but what will help other pastors and churches address all these issues happening around their church as well? I agree with you again that we have to go beyond just marching, giving speeches, singing, shouting, having all these funerals and going back home afterward until another senseless killing take place. As you ended your column last week, I end it likewise with your same words, “LORD HAVE MERCY ON US.”
Bishop: My husband and I plan on attending the funeral services of all the three women found dead in East Cleveland as well as give money for assisting the families with the funeral expenses but we don’t plan on attending any marches, memorial services just to hear the same old same old individuals say the same old things in regards to Stop the Violence. My husband and I with our three children stayed in East Cleveland eight years ago and now live in Pepper Pike. We both worked hard to save money and now we own our own business and doing well. We love going back and forth to East Cleveland since we have many friends there but each time we drive back here to Pepper Pike, it is another world. Yet, as my husband says, “We owe it to give back from where we came,” so we will do what it takes to as you said in your last week’s column, “take back what the devil stole.” My husband said he can’t understand why these individuals, who are called community leaders, can march around the Justice Center downtown, march up and down the street chanting “Stop the Violence,” yet can’t form a group of strong men – including him – joining the forces to hit the corners of the community and be a positive presence to hopefully deter crime. We’ve hired all black males from the inner city and believe me they don’t even think about crime so it’s a start.
Check out the bishop on Facebook under Bishop Prince J. Moultry. Write him and visit the church each Sunday at the 11a.m Praise Service at 969 E. 140th St. Cleveland, Ohio 44110 (off St. Clair Ave) in the heart of the Collinwood Community directly across from the Job Corps Campus.