Ohio senators engage Cleveland pastors in identifying local problems, solutions

Two Ohio senators, along with pastors in Cleveland, discussed the concerns and issues in the community as well as solutions. Image: Dylan Gillis|Unsplash

On Monday, Ohio senators engaged Cleveland pastors to identify local problems and solutions as gun violence increased. 

During the discussion, the participants also discussed the issues regarding voter registration. 

Discussing Local Problems, Solutions

Pastors in Cleveland met with Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio and Senate President Matt Huffman at Mt. Olive Baptist Church to discuss community issues and potential solutions.

According to cleveland.com, Pastor Anthony Small of Starlight Missionary Baptist Church explained to Antonio and Huffman that the older congregation members were affected by the changes in voter registration regulations since they could not get a driver's license.

Huffman urged the ministers to encourage their congregations to vote in person to address any issues quickly. 

Meanwhile, Pastor Larry Harris of the Mount Pleasant Ministerial Alliance pointed out to Antonio and Huffman that there is relatively little voting fraud in Cleveland and the surrounding areas. 

He said they shouldn't waste time trying to 'fix something that is not broken.'

Concerned About Gun Violence

Since the beginning of 2022, approximately 500 individuals have been shot in Cleveland. Signal Cleveland revealed that 1,602 people are killed annually in California due to gun violence. As for young Ohioans, gun-related violence is the leading cause of death.

Antonio claimed the Democratic Caucus had worked for years at the state level to enact reasonable gun control legislation. Per the report, he believes the increased availability of firearms in the state is to blame for the rise in crime and violence among the region's youth. 

According to Bp. Eugene Ward of the Greater Love Missionary Baptist Church, to reduce crime, city officials must address the persistent inequities that exist throughout the area.

"It's going to take a religious community, the legal community, educational community, all of us working together to try and solve these problems," Ward continued, as quoted in the report

Decries Concern Over Increasing Rate of Homeless 

Cleveland residents voice their concerns over the increasing rate of homelessness in their community. 

19News reported that residents see several homeless tents across East 19th Street and Payne Avenue. 

It was also reported that they contacted Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and Ward 5 Councilman Richard Starr to discuss options for addressing the homeless encampment in the area. Starr's office informed them that they are investigating whether or not the tents violate any laws.

About Rev. Edward Small

On Sept. 9, 1926, Dr. Edward Small was born to Winnie Bell Abrams in Greensboro County, Alabama. 

His family came from modest means, and he later became the senior pastor at Starlight Missionary Baptist Church.

According to the church's history, Small went to Detroit in 1951, where he taught Sunday school and served on the Deacon Board at the Russell Street Baptist Church. 

Small did the same thing at Community Baptist Church, where he eventually took over as president of the Gospel Choir. 

He was also a member of the Wiley Gospel Singers.

Starlight Baptist Church was established in 1956 by a group of people, and by God's mercy, Small was chosen to serve the congregation as its pastor.

More from Crossmap: Group from Saint Mary Seminary visits Rome to meet Pope


More Local News