Local pastors protest for peace in Charlottesville

Published: Aug. 14, 2017 at 6:09 PM EDT
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Clergy members took a stand in Virginia chanting, 'We have, we have, we have already won." The group included three Tennessee pastors, coming from Oak Ridge, Knoxville and Chattanooga

Annette Flynn, a local clergy member, said they were there to "come and be a peaceful presence."

The trio made their way north after a call for help from Congregate Charlottesville. The area's clergy turned to pastors across the country a couple weeks ago to protest a white supremacy rally in Virginia.

Flynn said they were warned of the dangers several times. They were even told, "If we go out there, we could die." But that didn't stop her.

"I wasn't afraid as much as I just was uncomfortable," Flynn said. "I don't like standing that close to an evil vibe."

The clergy was able to safely leave before the violence escalated.

There's a main message they want to spread: "Hate can't drive out hate, only love can," according to Flynn.

The pastors came together, all from different backgrounds. "All these different faiths came together, arm and arm. And go figure, we're all about the same thing," Flynn said.

The local clergy planned to ask Oak Ridge City Council to condemn white supremacy at Monday night's meeting.