Washington community takes unique approach to Juneteenth celebration

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WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – People are celebrating Juneteenth worldwide.

Here in the East, the Washington community took the unique approach of marching together in faith.

The Juneteenth Community Walk and Pray started at 6 p.m. at Metropolitan AME Zion Church.

Participants marched to Beebe Memorial CME Church and stopped to pray before ending the walk at Spring Garden BMC.

Hundreds marched together to recognize the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.

“It’s called a walk of faith, and the goal of it is to try to bring hope, try to bring the community together,” said Aaron Lewis, pastor at Spring Garden BMC.

Lewis recognizes there have been multiple marches in Washington, but he wanted this event to be different.

“Marching may get a rule changed, but it’s not necessarily going to change the heart of people,” said Lewis. “That’s the goal of this.”

Church leaders from across the community participated in the walk.

“God is pleased when we come together as people to fight any injustice against any particular group,” said Michael Gaddy, pastor at Metropolitan AME Zion Church.

Both pastors agree that all churches must come together to resolve this divide.

“We are Christians,” said Gaddy. “I just happen to be black. I must work to do the work of Christ, and I can only do that by being representative of all persons.”

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