Lawton pastor wants to keep violence out of the community

Lawton pastor wants to keep violence out of the community
LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – After several acts of violence across America in the last week, one Lawton pastor is hoping for a change.
Dr. Willie Smith is the Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church. He said after this week's tragic events, he feels the entire country is in dire need of healing. He said the senseless violence once again proves that more violence is not the solution to our problems.

"I think our nation needs first aid right now. We need healing,” Smith said.

Smith said the violent acts around the country are preventing us as a country from reaching a solution.

"Right now we're hurting too much to even have a healthy conversation and the healing starts with showing concern on both sides,” Smith said. “Again, both law enforcement and the community are hurting, and hurting people hurt people."

Smith said he watches these events occurring all over America and is very fortunate we've never had such incidents in Lawton.

"I'm hoping our leaders will step up and help prevent from this germ of hatred and divisiveness,” Smith said. “Don't let it come and spread into our community.

Smith said everyone may be outraged by the violence, but he believes our country truly needs to come together and work towards putting an end to the killings.

"Doctor King said we must learn how to live together or we will perish as fools. We are the United States of America, not us against them,” Smith said. “We've got to get back to the mindset that we're all in the same boat. If there's a boat with a hole in one side and I'm on the other side, if the boat goes down we all go down with the boat."

Smith said the incidents in St. Paul, Baton Rouge and Dallas happening so close together had an impact on him like no other events had.

"For the first time in my life I woke up this morning and wept after listening to the news,” Smith said. “It breaks my heart to see that it's happening in our country. But again, we can't just sit around and talk about it."

Smith said he is extremely grateful for the great job our local law enforcement does to ensure the things we see around the country do not happen here.

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