BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT )– Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church is offering more than a gun buyback on May 29.
“Our whole motive is just to try to save our neighborhood”, said Rev. Roderick Smith. He’s the pastor at the church.
They’re asking people to join them at the church, located at 11th Avenue North from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday for the first phase in their efforts to save the Kingston community. It starts with the gun buyback.
“What we’re doing is whatever type gun it is, we’ll take it back no problems. No questions, no police, no nothing. You just turn it in and you get an envelope with cash in it,” said Rev. Smith.
Rev. Smith says this first phase is to save lives.
“When you multiply one gun with six bullets, we potentially save six lives,” he said.
He was inspired to reach out to community partners after the death of Aryelle Yarbrough in Patton Park on Easter Sunday.
“When she got killed it was time for me as a man of God to talk to him and to talk to the community. We got to stop doing what we are doing because she was just an innocent bystander and her life was taken trying to save a child’s life,” he said.
One of those partners is Birmingham City Council President William Parker.
“The first initiative is to purchase or repurchase the guns. Get the illegal guns off the street. But also we need to focus on how do we provide opportunities, how do we provide jobs for our residents,” Parker said.
Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr is also a partner who Rev. Smith says “is going to be on hand on hand to talk to them on the spot to see what they need. Where he can get their case number and get it removed off their record as long as it is not a felon, as long as it is a misdemeanor.”
The Birmingham Urban League is also a partner in the Good Hope Missionary Church Gun Buyback.
“They are doing interviews on the spot and they’re hiring. We got major people coming. We’ve even got Waffle House coming. Anywhere you want to fit in, you can get in. But, the main job is to help you get stable in this community, where you can say well I don’t have to pick up this gun. If you walk away today, you’ll be able to come back tomorrow. Simply walk away, you’ll save your life and probably, that person’s life,” said Rev. Smith.