CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Trayvon Martin case has sparked protests from the streets of Florida to a sermon from a pulpit here in Cleveland. A local pastor had a message for all the Trayvons out there.
The worship service at the In Touch for Christ Christian Center on Cleveland's east side began as it does every Sunday with the Praise Team singing glory to God. But, the look of Senior Pastor, Bishop Prince Moultry, was noticeably different. Instead of preaching in a bishop's robe, he wore a hoodie in memory of Trayvon Martin. That's what the African-American teen from Florida was wearing when he was killed.
Bishop Moultry was trying to make a point that we should not a judge a man by what he wears. "Am I any different?" he asked the congregation. "Am I still Bishop Moultry?" They responded, "Yes."
His other message was to "Be Aware, to Beware" -- pointing out that Trayvon Martin was not aware that neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was trailing him. "How do you act when you are in a situation like Trayvon with a fool lurking around trying to be a security guard or want to be police? How do you respond? How do you react. That can be very difficult," he said.
He also spoke of knowing what to do if confronted by police. "I took the word of God today and I put it in real life for young black African-Americans. Many are very angry, many very frustrated with the environment that they are in. Many make poor choices out of frustration," Bishop Moultry said.
He acknowledges that there is growing frustration that Zimmerman has not been arrested for Trayvon Martin's death. He calls that "an injustice." But, Bishop Moultry stressed that this is not a time for anger and hate. "And, we must trust God and trust the system that a process takes place," he said.