Community Celebrates Anti Violence Effort

October 17, 2011 Updated Oct 17, 2011 at 11:14 PM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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October 17, 2011 Updated Oct 17, 2011 at 11:14 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) -- This week marks the one year anniversary of a community movement to end violence. Enough is Enough...I'm a Peacemaker...got people to hit the streets to try and put an end to the senseless cycle of killing. Reverend Darius Pridgen of True Bethal Baptist Church announced that the murder rate in Buffalo for the first nine months of this year...has dropped significantly compared to the same period last year. A group gathered at True Bethal to mark the end of the first year of the Enough is Enough campaign.

"United Front, which is a group, anti violence group, pick it up after we started it here at True Bethel and they have been out to 36 different churches...on street corners...every night...Monday through Friday, from six o'clock to seven o'clock. And tonight we came to celebrate an almost 38 percent drop in homicides from the same period last year," Pridgen explained. The violent summer of 2010 got religious groups and anti violence organizations to mobilize and take their message to the streets...where the violent acts were occuring.

Pastor Gerald Drayton of New Testament Revival Cathedral is one of those working the streets night after night. "The gunfire has ceased. So, we know that some things are happening...God is moving...not only with the Buffalo United Front...but, with other organizations as well. Because, all of us come together to make a difference and when we work together...it will happen," Pastor Drayton said.

Pridgen says that the trend of witnesses hiding and refusing to cooperate with the police is reversing. "People are staring to come forward, because one thing that people are starting to realize is...if we protect each other as a community...that these thugs and the people wanting to commit crimes...they become the minority and the law abiding citizens become the majority," Pridgen added.

True Bethel will host a community wide celebration of prayer and music Wednesday night. North Carolina pastor and community activist John Kee and his New Life Community Choir will preform.