Bethlehem Star Missionary Baptist Church was among the 250 churches across Chicago that met Friday at sundown to pray against youth gun violence.
In 2012 alone, Chicago experienced over 500 murders, a benchmark last reached in 2008.
Photos and captions by Abby Theodros, WGN News
Members of Y.A.M., an acronym for Youth Against Murderers, attended the prayer rally.
Pastor Yolanda Cruz, 42, led the event with a prayer: “Our hearts can’t take any more deaths, we need an intervention.”
Pastor Roosevelt Watkins, the organizer of Bethlehem Star’s prayer rally, revved up the group before they dispersed to their designated street corners along Cottage Grove Street.
“Put down the guns, stop the dream killing!” a church member chants outside of Bethlehem Star Church.
Holding hands in prayer, Annette Jackson, 47, and nephew, Dakoata Fryer, 15, stand in unity with fellow church members on the corner of Cottage Grove and 92nd Street.
Mother, Chenail Jones Mosley, 50, and daughter, Janel Mosely, 17, garnered support from oncoming traffic as they signaled for honks against violence.
Dakoata Fryer, 15, of the South Side commutes to school every morning in order to receive a “better, safer education” on the North Side.
As the evening came to a close, Ginna McKillion, 47, lit a candle in honor of the youth lives lost due to gun violence.