CHICAGO ( FOX 32 News) -- It started with a group of 100 people marching down the sidewalk Friday night and ended with a small group of about a dozen circling the block in Woodlawn.
A 24 hour prayer walk was held this weekend. Pastor Andrew Gibson of the Vernon Baptist Church organized the event that welcomed other faith leaders, school officials and concerned residents.
The group walked from the south side's Woodlawn neighborhood to the United Center and back. They walked for peace, prayed and passed out food.
“My legs hurt, my back hurts, my eyes hurt, but our city is hurting even more,” said Pastor Gibson. “We want to get out and make our presence known in this neighborhood, not being scared to be out all night long dealing with people that others don't deal with and we wanted to be that people.”
One focus of the group was on the youth - letting them know there are options.
“We have to give them something else to look forward to, a job, to to school let them know someone is there for them,” said Gene Moore, who explained he wasn’t also a churchgoing man. “I've been shot, I've been stabbed, I robbed, I did everything, I gangbanged.”
Pastor Gibson said even though their 24 hour walk is over - their work is not. They want to continue to bring the church outside of the four walls and in to the community, including taking to street corners this summer to pray.