Seeking A Victory From Violence In East Knoxville

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- It was a two mile trek through the heart of East Knoxville, all in an effort to win "Victory Over Violence."

Some of those marchers have been touched directly by violence, others just through news reports.

But the Word of Life Ministry and its supporters, want to make clear, peace leads to prosperity.

"God, we are willing to show our faces in support of those that have fallen by violence," prayed Daisha Parker, one of the marchers.

The hardships and horrors of those touched by tragedy were on display.

"We just have a vision to stop the violence in the East Knoxville community," Parker said.

The goal was to rally emotions, leading to a powerful cry.

"Our ministry is trying to rebuild a community spiritually in order for other things to take place economically," said Pastor Kevin Perry of the Word of Life Ministry.

With each pace across the pavement on Martin Luther King Boulevard, a unity front began to head forward.

"I really believe it brings an awareness to violence," Pastor Perry said. "Not only are we talking about gun violence, but any kind of violence."

The march continued with some of its participants stepping in tune with peace and harmony.

They had also have learned the terrible side of chaos.

"Several of my family members, I'm not originally from here, but have dealt with domestic violence," Parker said. "I work with children who are abused and neglected everyday."

The voices were of all ages, with the younger ones being lifted up by messages to live by.

All the while, some adults attempted to rev up support for peace.

"I think we'll send a great message to the young people, because all they see is violence and they struggle with gangs and wars," said Linda Wilson, one of the marchers.

The positive energy of the group of marchers had a target audience, but just how violent is East Knoxville?

"I think it's more focused on the inner city because of the the crime in the inner city," said Pastor Perry. "But crime takes place all over."

"The violence in Walter P is very real," said Parker, "but the lives that are there are very real as well, and we need to reach out and save everyone that we can."

Word of Life Ministries is planning a petition drive to rename a part of East Knoxville the "God Zone", as part of a continuing effort to contribute a positive influence.

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