LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The non-profit organization Highways and Hedges will bring its “March of Hope” three-day revival to Lafayette.

Highways and Hedges has partnered with Refuge Temple Ministries for the event with hopes of bringing down crime in the community. 

The group travels from city to city offering free outreach events such as major peace marches, gospel concerts, indoor/outdoor services, going to college campuses, nursing homes, and more. 

The 3 Day Revival times are as follows:

    ⁃Friday, September 23@7pm- Outdoors

    ⁃Saturday, September 24@7pm- Outdoors

    ⁃Sunday, September 25@10am- Inside 

“We see in Lafayette the crime rate. We see that it’s a cry for help. These individuals they’re living off means of survival. Lots of them don’t want to be in these conditions, but they feel that this is all that they have.” 
Montez Powell, President of Highways and Hedges said.

He adds the organization will come into communities to let them know that there is hope if they can turn to Jesus. 

“This is like God is giving them a second chance and we’re coming into the community to work with the city leaders. We’re there to aid the police officers. We’re like the spiritual police officers,” said Powell. “The higher power said to forgive and as we begin to grab a hold to those words before you know it the menace to society it’s off the streets. You start to see less murders because people are forgiven now. You start to see less cars get broken into. You start to see less arm robberies. It’s because you started to see that the young man that was very influential in causing other people to become the same way he is, you start to see that man begin to correct his life.” 

News 10 spoke with a few other members of the organization who all share a common past of living a lifestyle of violence. 

“I come from a lifestyle of gang banging. Shooting up houses and selling drugs on the streets. Taking policies on high speed chase. I sold drugs half of my life. I mean this was all I knew. I was basically a career criminal,” said Joshua Royster, the Lake Charles Co-director of Highways and Hedges. 

“At a certain time in my life I actually attempted to murder on a police officer.” 

Brandon Broussard, who is also the Lake Charles Co-director of the organization, said before he came into the organization at age of 15 he was in and out of jail. 

“I have been to three different penitentiaries. I shot at people before. I stabbed people. I lived a violence lifestyle,” said Broussard. “I had a mind where I didn’t care whether I lived or died. I don’t know how to love anybody. I didn’t even love myself.” 

Benjamin Rhodes, the director of the organization, shared his past. He shared how he grew up seeing his father selling and cutting crack. In the year of 2008 in Lafayette he was on the run for second degree murder and a convicted felon with a firearm. 

“Headlines had me all over the place. It was kind of a high profile case because it was an incident where I actually shot and killed my step father on Father’s Day,” he said. “Here I am over 14 years later being able to be a witness to others to let them know that despite what you go through in life. No matter what you experience or how much you’ve been there. There’s hope for you.” 

He said because of the organization he went back into the same jail where he was once booked and arrested. The same streets where he sold drugs and into the same communities that knew him before the conversion and introduced them to a new way of living. 

“I want to help every person that came from the lifestyle I came from to let them know because so many people are involved in their life and they have seen their brothers, aunts, cousins live that lifestyle so they live like there’s no way out. Well I’m here to let them know there’s a way because God brought me out,” said Broussard. 

Rhodes said law enforcement agencies go and try to bring crime down to stop crime from occurring on the streets. However he said as a result there are a lot of arrests that have been made. You have our LPCC jails being filled up and surrounding areas. He adds after the process has been done they can all attest that jail didn’t change them. 

“Doing time in jail didn’t take crime out of our minds. We actually came home more criminally minded than what we were before we went to jail,” said Rhodes. “Highways and Hedges purpose, what we’re known for by the higher power working in us is going beyond taking crime off the streets we focus on taking the crime out of the hearts.” 

The organization said wherever they go they have a powerful impact. As they have been to Texas, Monroe and Baton Rouge before. Bringing 300 to 400 people to give them their testimonies that will actually bring hope. 

“It doesn’t matter what situation you’re dealing with, there’s at least three to four people that’s going to be in the crowd that dealt with the issue that you need to come out,” said Powell. “We’re coming in to show them that guess what; there’s a better way of living. It’s a whole different life outside of the drug gang. It’s a whole different lifestyle outside of the gutter.” 

The group wears khaki and white to signify life change. Powell said when people see the uniform they will know these are people that you can trust. That you won’t find gang banging or fighting or involved into things that actually bring up the crime. 

“We got so many people that are suicidal. We have so many people who are depressed with low self esteem and it causes them to do things to gain attention even from men, even from women and it causes them to go down a path of destruction but Highways and Hedges are letting you know the time is fulfilled. You don’t have to go down these paths that will cause destruction in your life. Come out and experience a life change,” said Powell. 

If you want to get involved in the organization by coming to the event and speaking to the members. They are also taking donations to continue aiding the communities.