GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Relentless Church hosted a “Pursuit to Peace” event at the outdoor stage by the Peace Center in downtown Greenville Wednesday evening to unify the community after George Floyd’s death and widespread protests.
The event drew hundreds, including churchgoers, teen activists, people in the community, and local leaders.
The goal was to provide a sense of solidarity.
“We are here in representation of unity, and I just believe that this is the answer right now…unity and just coming together and sharing love with one another [is] definitely what we need in this time,” said Junious Buchanan, who is a member of Relentless Church.
The event also gave people a chance to express their sadness over George Floyd and their desire for change.
“What we’re protesting is hate,” said Pastor John Gray of Relentless Church. “What we’re protesting is injustice. What we’re protesting is inequity and inequality.”
The pastor also called for people to respect police and property.
As the event started, a protest made up largely of young people ended their march down main street at the pursuit to peace event. Protester Tara Jenkins said she wasn’t aware of the “Pursuit to Peace” event beforehand.
“We were just led here by some people, and it kind of just like blew me away with all this support and all this like want for change,” Jenkins said.
She said she helped organize another protest yesterday and posted about having one Wednesday on Instagram, and many people came out and joined their group spontaneously.
“Everything about this makes me so hopeful,” Jenkins said.
Others also congregated at the stage on the Reedy River throughout the evening. Faith leaders took the stage to speak of their outage and sorrow. Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis and interim Police Chief Howie Thompson also spoke.
“Our teams at the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenville Police Department work good together,” Thompson said. “We both vow that we’re going to work that good with you. We want that same partnership that we have…we want that with our community, and that includes all of you.”