BR pastor tackles issues first-hand

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POSTED: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 10:12pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 11:21pm

The phrase, "it takes a village to raise a child," has compelled Pastor Raymond Jetson to get out of his office, and into the community's that need help.

"A lot of people in the community can be rehabilitated if given opportunity and structure in life," Jetson said.

Jetson was born just feet away from the Star Hill Church he now heads. He said a decline in family structure, education and low access to employment opportunities have created the culture of crime rampant in many neighborhoods.

"Crime is a critical issue impacting our community," Jetson said. "But crime is a symptom of a lot of other problems in the community."

His thousand-member congregation engages the community on every issue.

"Congregations like Star Hill have to be active in the community," Jetson said, "to address underlying issues that contribute to the crime problem."

Some teach parenting skills, some deal with neighborhood blight, others mentor children, deal with addiction, and teach financial literacy to adults. Jetson called it the church gathered and the church scattered approach. He said the efforts are beginning to have an impact, but it's nowhere near time to quit, or give up.

"Whatever good we've done, there's more to be done," Jetson said.

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