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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Community members took to the streets of the Houston Moore housing complex to stand up to violence.

“People of faith, who believe in the power of prayer have assembled here today, so that we might ask God’s blessings upon these areas where we have an incredible amount of violence, misery, and despair,” explains Wilmington Police Department’s Chaplain, James Jamison Jr.

The ‘Boots on the Ground” program aims to reduce violence and crime in Wilmington. And Jamison says that they have a secret weapon.

“Prayer, we believe, is our trump card,” he says.

They didn’t just pray though, they marched around the complex picking up trash and spreading the word of God.

He explains that “in the book of Joshua, it talks about bringing down the Jericho wall and what they did is they marched around seven times. But they marched around six times silently, and then on the seventh time, they blew the trumpets, and then they began to praise god.”

Thurman Burgess says it’s not the violence that’s the problem though.

“Violence has never been the problem. Violence is a symptom of the problem. Unemployment, education; those are the problems. It’s not violence,” he says.

Burgess says that what these people really need are jobs. He hopes that after seeing this, area businesses will seriously consider hiring people from this area.

“You’ve got people working; they don’t have time for crime. You’ve got people with idle time on their hands, watching foolishness on television; what are they going to do with it? Where is the outlet?,” he adds.

The ‘Boots on the Ground’ group meets the first Saturday of every month to spread the message of love and non-violence. Their next stop is the Creekwood South neighborhood.

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