Ministers To Speak Out Against Gun Violence

Press Release: The Moderator of the First West Florida Baptist District Association, along with the President of the Baptist Minister’s Union of Pensacola and Vicinity, will both issue statements on Monday, August 27th, at 1:00 p.m., in front of the housing unit where one of the latest victims of recent gun violence was shot.

“In light of the growing gun violence in our streets,” said Lonnie D. Wesley, III, Moderator of the First West Florida Baptist District Association, “we feel it necessary to issue another statement to publicly decry the bloodshed, and to make a loud plea to put an end to this – now. This must stop!”

Said the Reverend Tyler Hardeman, President of the Baptist Minister’s Union and who, as a child, grew up in Attucks Court (where the victim was shot): “Both Pastor Wesley and I grew up in Pensacola. We are both from West Pensacola. We know the Westside, and the Westside knows us; but this is not the West Pensacola we grew up with. This is totally unacceptable. We must put an end to this.”

This isn’t the first time First West Florida has addressed the issue of gun violence. In 2008, the Association hosted a successful gun buy-back program that allowed several weapons to be taken off the streets and given to the Sheriff’s office.

“A mother found a shotgun in her teenage son’s room. She called and asked if she could bring it in. She did. Two young adults came to the church, to my office, just to ask me to take me their guns,” said Wesley. “Now we want a few more to put their guns down, too.”

In case of inclement weather, the two will give their statements at The Baptist Center at 2400 W. Strong Street, Pensacola.