Michigan pastor focuses on hope, healing

'Prayer can shape a generation,' associate pastor says

“It’s been challenging,” said Associate Pastor David Merritt with Straight Gate International Church.

That’s how Associate Pastor David Merritt with Straight Gate International Church described the last couple of weeks for him. One of his many duties at the church includes working with the youth and his mentoring organization called Merritt Fate, “We have Merit, which is a for profit fashion brand, that uses style and design as a way to drive social impact for young people in the city of Detroit,” said Merritt.

Merritt said what happened to Ahmaud Arbery, Breeonna Taylor and George Floyd is taking a toll on everyone, especially the young people, “This has been a learning experience for me. Just listening. Doing more listening than speaking throughout this time. Just the feeling that they don’t feel valued, sometimes they don’t feel that people view them as humane. That’s tough to hear and it’s painful.”

Pain, that has him depending on his faith, “For me personally, it’s not negating those feelings, it’s validating them. At the same time as far as hope goes, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, his blood and his righteousness,” said Merritt.

Merritt said he believes, that the country can move on from this, but some serious changes must come first, “We’ve been mistreating each other for, since the beginning of time. In this country it’s been over 400 years. For someone to look at someone else and mistreat them, I believe that shows a reflection of not what they think about that other person, but it shows reflection of how they view themselves. I truly believe that prayer can shape a generation. I truly believe that.”

About the Author: