Pastor Readies For "Fast" To Curb Street Violence

By Jeff Neumeyer

November 13, 2013 Updated Nov 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- A Fort Wayne pastor, for a second time this year, is preparing to abstain from eating, in hopes the extended fast will bring divine intervention to slow near-record street violence in the city.

It’s a campaign of sacrifice to try and head off the sacrifice of other lives.

In the spring, the Reverend Bill McGill traveled to Alabama, re-tracing the steps of civil rights giant Dr. Martin Luther King.

Outside the cell where King penned the famous "Letter From a Birmingham Jail", McGill penned his thoughts in a personal journal.

" Dr. King, you and your generation feared the face of the Ku Klux Klan. Now we are forced to fear the face of another black man. How did it get all upside down?" said McGill.

They are sobering words from a man who is again turning to the heavens, to try and put the brakes on street violence in Fort Wayne.

Concerned by a staggering pace of homicides, McGill went on a 40-day fast in April and May.

Of the 3 killings that took place during that hunger campaign, two were police action shootings.

One was civilian on civilian violence.

But in the months that followed his fast, the gang and drug-related killings kept coming.

So McGill will say “no” to food again, calling on God to be a spiritual shield of protection.

" I just think that drastic times call for drastic measures and if we're not at drastic, then what will be drastic," McGill said.

During his original fast, McGill lost more than 30 pounds.

He hasn't gained all that weight back.

This time around, if he drops below 149 pounds, he's going to put a little food in his system, to make sure his strength and health don't suffer too much.

He insists he's not trying to be a martyr or hog the spotlight.

Instead, he's inviting people from other local churches to join him for at least short stints along the new 40-day journey.

" There has to be a positive energy hedge that is built up around our community again," he said.

Fast “number two” is set to begin on Saturday and run until Christmas Day.

The goal is peace on earth, especially in Fort Wayne.

The homicide count in Fort Wayne officially stands at 41.

1997 had the most on record with 44.




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