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135 candles lit to remember victims of violent crimes

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) Members of Zionsville United Methodist Church lit 135 candles during their 10:45 a.m. Sunday service. Each candle represented one person who was killed in Indianapolis in 2014.

The church’s pastor Glenn Howell said, “They have a heart for what’s going on. They don’t know how to help so they came to me and asked how could they make a difference in this community.”

Pastor Howell reached out to the pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Rev. Charles Harrison. Harrison is also the president of the faith-based organization Ten Point Coalition, which focuses on reducing inner-city violence involving those 12 – 25 years old.

Rev. Harrison said he got the idea to create the organization after Indianapolis experienced 162 killings in 1998. He shared Ten Point Coalition’s success in its 17 years with the Zionsville United Methodist Church.

“Last year, the 46208 zip code was the only zip code in Indianapolis that did not see an escalation in violence. It was the only zip code that saw a reduction. We almost saw a 50 percent reduction, particularly in the UNWA and the Crown Hill areas in 46208,” Rev. Harrison.

Zionsville United Methodist Church is the newest of 25 churches that have partnered with the Ten Point Coalition.

“There’s obviously a big difference in the communities and the cultures of the communities.” He continued, “There are probably places we can be very helpful and perhaps places we can’t be and we just need to learn what’s the best place for us to use our energy and our gifts,” said Pastor Howell.

The church will have a community meeting on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss how it can be of assistance to the Ten Point Coalition.