Pastors from Doulos Chapel talk about crime in South Bend - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Pastors from Doulos Chapel talk about crime in South Bend

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Pastors from Doulos Chapel talk about crime in South Bend Pastors from Doulos Chapel talk about crime in South Bend

Doulos Chapel in South Bend held an Easter service that encouraged everyone to attend, including individuals who have or had a criminal background. Pastor Mario Sims led what he called "Turn yourself in to Jesus and stop the violence." He was asking that people with gang affiliations, drug addiction and gamblers, to name a few, to make their way to the service.

Sims says that much of the crime is a result of people refusing to be held accountable. "They choose violence. That is their choice and the choices have to change," he says.

Sims says that some people are at a disadvantage based on their upbringing. However, he does not see that as an excuse to break the law and find trouble. "We have to have people start looking in the mirror at themselves and ask that question, 'is this really worth the consequence?'" he says.

He says that children, teens and adults all need to understand the consequences that come with breaking the law. He says that the police are cracking down on criminals and that it is one route. He is offering religion as another option. "The people pulling the trigger don't understand that life has value. So even if the answer to them is not religion, it's an understanding that that's a life," Sims said.

Doulos Chapel Associate Pastor Melvin Townsend says he worked at the chapel before and then left. He came back to the church to work with Sims. Both pastors say that they have trouble of their own in their pasts and that helps them to gain credibility when working with people today.
"I myself come from a background of crime. Even though I was involved in gangs, I was one of those who wanted better," Townsend said.

"Prison is waiting, jail is waiting, and the grave is waiting but it doesn't have to be the end of the story just like with me after twelve and a half years in prison it can be with anyone else," Sims said.

Townsend also offered other suggestions for curbing youth violence.  With the end of the school year approaching and summer break not too far away, he says the city of South Bend needs to employee young men and women. Townsend says the work they do should be meaningful and benefit the South Bend community. "If you don't want any filthy neighborhoods then let them clean them up. There's all kinds of things they can do. They can wash windows. They can do anything," says Townsend.

Townsend also encouraged kids from different parts of the city be put together in groups to work with one another.
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