‘Jesus loves you’ Pastor tells those in gangs as church celebrates 3rd anniversary

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, July 4, 2013–A Nevisian Pastor, Euclid Lawrence, who established the Crossroads Community Church in Brown Pastor three years ago as an outreach especially to young men at risk, has said that young men currently in gangs can be transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“My prayer is that one day gang leaders can congregate at a forum and we can sit together and resolve the conflicts. These period no matter how serious it may seem now, if you read scripture seriously, it is a period of grace where Jesus said, I have not come to condemn the world, I have come that they might be saved,” Pastor Lawrence said.

He said in a press statement that members of the public including young men in gangs are invited to the Crossroad’s church anniversary services scheduled to be held at a tent located at the Basketball Court at the Old St. John’s School in Brown Pasture.

The anniversary service will take place on Sunday, 7th July at 4.30 p.m. Evangelistic outreach services will be held on Monday and Tuesday from 7.30 p.m. Wednesday night has been dubbed as “Manhood Night.” The theme of the anniversary is “Pursuing God in Perilous Times”. The guest speaker is the Superintendent Methodist Church, Nevis Circuit, Reverend Dennis Baptiste.

He said Crossroads Church Ministry came out of a vision. “After much prayer and fasting, God led us to plant a church in Brown Pasture. At the time, a lot of young men were on the streets. The Lord directed us to minister to them by giving them the Gospel as well as try to empower them in skill training.

“It was challenging but the response has been positive and consistent. The men are still coming. The challenge remains to persuade the men to submit to the Lord Jesus. One of the things we set out to do is to reach ten percent of St. John’s. We sought out to reach out 60 persons for each year. There was a gang activity in 2007 and 2008 and 2010. Having the Gospel there, it has caused it to rescind. Officially the church was launched in 2010.

Lawrence is saddened by the resurgence of homicides: “I am really saddened to say the least. One would agree, choices are made. Even though you are presenting the good Gospel and even though you are presenting good ways for people to improve, it still comes to the aspect of choice and allowing the will to make decisions.”

“The Gospel really is the answer. Until a man’s mind is changed and he begins to think differently, he may stop for a while, but when he stops because he has fallen in love with Jesus Christ, he no longer wants to kill his brother. It has to be more than town hall meetings. You have to come to where they are at the corner. Find the nest where they are and intermingle somehow.

“Two weeks ago, I talked to members of a gang. One of them told me, Pastor since you have been coming here, I have changed a lot. He is asking me to come back. Sometimes it may appear that nothing is happening but something positive is happening.”

Pastor Lawrence highlighted factors that are pushing young men into gangs. He said there is limited communication at the family level due to the online activities. He also said that it was difficult for single mothers to raise children all by themselves.

During the “Manhood Night” on Wednesday themed recovering manly hood topics will include lost values, integrity, the pride of hard work. “We want to reach out to all kinds of men. Those who are saved, rastamen, men who have been abused. A lot of men are lonely and very depressed and very stressed out. Some are going through financial stresses and some women assume they have money. “

“I have some questions from some women. I attended a women forum where I spoke. I will take these questions to the symposium,” Pastor Lawrence said.

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