The Rev. Markel Hutchins leads new national peace effort

The Rev. Markel Hutchins is involved in planning the second nationwide Faith & Blue Weekend and other initiatives to keep faith organizations and law enforcement agencies involved together in building trust and peace in their communities across America.
The Rev. Markel Hutchins is involved in planning the second nationwide Faith & Blue Weekend and other initiatives to keep faith organizations and law enforcement agencies involved together in building trust and peace in their communities across America.

Credit: MovementForward, Inc.

Credit: MovementForward, Inc.

Among passionate voices and architects of movements well known in Atlanta were the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr., the Rev. Hosea Williams, the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy Sr., the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the Rev. C. T. Vivian - still the Rev. Andrew Young; and now another Atlanta reverend is seeking to make a difference to bring peace across America.

As protests increased and intensified in many large cities this year, a nationwide organization, formed in Atlanta by a young Baptist reverend, sought to calm these communities.

The Rev. Markel Hutchins, president and CEO of MovementForward Inc., oversaw the first National Faith & Blue events - nearly 1,000 during mid-October around the nation, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

On his MovementForward YouTube channel to promote the event, he said in part, “We’ve done the marching. We’ve done the protesting. Now it’s time to do the heavy lifting - decreasing fires, increasing respect and trust, protecting lives but respecting and honoring and protecting the lives of our law enforcement professionals as well.”

Over that weekend, he was invited to a meet-and-greet with New York Police Department officers and members of a mosque.

Hutchins told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email, “As I was witnessing the officers and the worshipers smiling and listening to each other, I had to pause and reflect on the fact that here I was, a Baptist reverend, meeting in the halls of a mosque with representatives of law enforcement.”

He added, "At that moment, I gave thanks to the Lord for the calling to do His work.”

With 65 million people attending 350,000 houses of worship every week, plans are well underway for the second National Faith & Blue Weekend and also programming that will occur during the year “that keeps the momentum going,” he told the AJC.

Information: 404-605-7000, FaithAndBlue.org/events, facebook.com/FaithAndBlue, youtube.com/channel/UCmx-d3B6FmSkszesyJKZtDA, cops.usdoj.gov, RevMarkel.com

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Each Sunday we write about a deserving person or charity events such as fun runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To submit a story for us to cover, email us at ajc.doinggood@gmail.com.

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