Crime tape has become an all too familiar sight for residents around Abbeville. With seven murders in the last year, church leaders in the area say it's their duty to step up—which is exactly what they're doing. Bishop Van Rousell is leading the effort.
"We are not satisfied with the drug activity, with the crime, with the murder and we're doing our part coming together to be visible," said Rousell.
Starting Wednesday, 20 churches will host a three-day tent crusade, calling it "Churches in Unity within the Community." Part of the event is a series of workshops specifically for the youth to learn about different career options and shaping the future with a positive message.
"It gives them the spirit of well-being that they don't have to be so destructive and they can be on the flip side—productive," said Rousell.
And the churches are from all different denominations. Brother Ronald Abshire of the Community Catholic Church in Abbeville says it's time for spirituality to play a part in combating crime.
"The churches should be leaders in morality and accept that we should bring god into the picture and get back to the morals this country was founded on like 'thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal'," said Abshire.
But it's not just the religious sector involved. The planners say city officials and political leaders will also join the ranks. Abshire hopes this will spark a real interest in the cause.
"We want to see a change and the change starts in Abbeville and will hopefully spread throughout Vermilion Parish," said Abshire. "We'll just have a better community and a better place to live."
The event will be May 8-10th at 6 p.m. on the grounds of Pleasant Green Church at 822 I.J. Joiner Street in Abbeville. It is free and open to the public.