2 North Nashville churches come together to combat crime

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Two churches in North Nashville are fighting back against crime in one neighborhood, and they’re doing it through food, faith and fellowship.

It all started the last weekend in August with a community dinner called “Time for a Change.” The purpose of the dinner isn’t just to feed bellies; it’s also about feeding souls.

On the open lawn on Buchanan Street, there was no shortage of food, or people for that matter.

“We are serving green beans and corn and chicken. We are just riding through the streets, picking people up and praying for people,” said Reverend Dwayne Lewis with New Season Church.

More than 350 people showed up for the event, some live in the neighborhood and some don’t, but all are welcome.

“God fed the 5,000. We are here to feed the 5,000,” said Deacon Paul Wilkerson with the First Baptist Church of Joelton.

The dinner is the brainchild of Reverend Lewis, who joined forces with the First Baptist Church of Joelton to make it happen.

“You have a young African-American church, you have a church that’s 50 years old that is predominantly white, we’ve come together to serve this community,”  explained Lewis.

At this event, it’s all about serving. But it’s not always like that on Buchanan Street. In the very same neighborhood the night before the food and fellowship, it was a very different scene.

(Photo: WKRN)

There was a stabbing, which is unfortunately all too common here. But that’s exactly why Lewis chose the spot for their inaugural event.

“This is an area you have poverty and you have violence. But as a church, God has called us to come together as a community to come out here and be visible,” said Lewis.

The point is to make their presence known and that’s how Lewis told News 2 they’ll truly make a difference.

“It’s going to take us a little time,” he admitted. He said he also knows it’s going to take more than just a good meal.

“Working with First Baptist Church Joelton, we are working to sit down at the table come up with a strategy and a plan to raise money in order to get these programs going forward to deal with violence,” he said.

But all of the food and fellowship is most certainly a good place to start.

(Photo: WKRN)

“We hope this time next year that it’s twice as many- that this parking lot won’t even hold it – that this community changes,” said Wilkerson.

“We have people coming from every part of town. Young, old, black, white. It’s irrelevant to us, what’s important is that we are coming together,” Lewis said.

The only real difference between the members of these two churches is their skin color, but that doesn’t matter here. Not one bit.

Because it’s what’s in their hearts that will really make a difference – their love for this community and their fellow man.

Click here for more information on the First Baptist Church of Joelton.

For more information on New Seasons Church, visit their website. 

Click here for more CrimeTracker: Fighting Back stories.