Local pastor uses video to send strong message to end violence

Published: Dec. 10, 2019 at 7:17 PM EST
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By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News

December 10, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A local pastor is hoping to do something about the violence in our community.

One of his latest efforts is a Public Service Announcement he posted on social media.

In the video, you see family members getting all dressed up. There's music, smiles, and hugs. Then, the video quickly takes a turn. The end shows a casket at the front of the church with Pastor Ferguson giving a eulogy.

"The message is, you leave your home that day to go do some things or have a good time or go to the mall, whatever it is. All of a sudden, somebody who decides that they want to shoot kills that young person. Now, here we are at a funeral," Pastor Ferguson said.

The video was shot inside of Ferguson's church after a Sunday service at New Birth Tabernacle of Praise.

His youngest son, Jacobe Ferguson, was a teenager at the time he took part in the video. The now 20-year-old remembers how it felt to even pretend to be at a funeral.

"It's been too many times being in that position. I really don't like going to funerals. So, me actually having to use it as a message, it hits home every time. Every time you can pitch it to so many people, but it's surreal," Jacobe said.

Jacobe says communication or upbringing sometimes play a role in those around his age group getting involved in violent crime.

He hopes the PSA video can be more of an impact than certain other images young people see.

"What you see, the music that you listen to, what you see on TV, it's all in their face. What's visual, they don't think it's really feeding their brains but it's really feeding to them. So, what you intake a lot around you, is what you're going to push out sometimes," Jacobe said.

"It is discouraging, but yet, I'm encouraged because the mission is still afoot and we have to keep pushing on no matter what it looks like," Pastor Ferguson said.

The PSA was made in 2016. Pastor Ferguson says he re-posts it every now and then, hoping the message will resonate. He says he plans to make another video in the future.

The video was done by Impact Visual Media, courtesy of Frontline Project, Inc.