Long Branch: On Sunday, members of Second Baptist Church on Liberty Street wore hooded sweatshirts – “hoodies” – to show their support for Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old teenager who was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012.
More than half the members attending the 10:00 A.M. services wore hoodies, of various colors and inscriptions. About a dozen wore green hoodies with Second Baptist Church on the front and “Come Grow With Us” on the back including Pastor Rev Aaron Gibson.
As he began his sermon, Rev Gibson said the violence today – not just the Martin case, but in general – must be addressed. Some is racially motivated, but other violence in the community is also Black against Black. He asked all to pray for all victims of crimes, not just Black. The reverend had spoken at the April 17 NAACP’s Trayvon Martin Rally held at Second Baptist where he was joined by the mayor, council persons, county officials and church and community leaders in the city.
He paused to explain the dress worn by churchgoers and then invited Long Branch NAACP President Bill Dangler to the pulpit to speak.
Danger said that racism and hatred killed, Trayvon Martin, not the fact he was wearing a hoodie. He called for a peaceful resolution and encouraged the community to speak out against violence. He encouraged working with the city and in neighborhoods to improve the conditions that cause such incidents. He said the NAACP is and will continue to work with officials and neighborhood groups to bring about change.