Knoxville (WVLT) - It's crimes, like the stabbing in North Knoxville Monday night and the double murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in early January, that have local clergy concerned.
And many of Knoxville's churches are gathering to do something about it.
Dozens of churches located in the city are banding together. They're banding together to help curb violence in their neighborhoods.
It's called "Operation: Save Our City" and they're kicking off their campaign with a prayer service, hoping their actions in prayer will have a positive impact on their community.
"We are concerned about peace, shalom, in the city," says Dr. Johnnie Skinner, Sr., Pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Now folks in Knoxville are taking a stand united for peace.
We know that this cannot, this type of violence cannot continue," Skinner says.
This effort began several months ago when Knoxville Police met with city pastors about gun violence.
"They wanted our involvement in trying to help with the issue of violence because it's obviously going up," the pastor recalls.
Now with 5 homicides in the past four weeks, pastors say there's no better time to use faith in prayer to stop the bloodshed.
"This weekend we are asking all the faith communities in whatever way they worship to pray about the issue of violence and healing and peace in our community," Skinner pleas during a news conference in Downtown Knoxville Tuesday.
Right now hundreds are gathered at First Baptist Church in a prayer service. Afterward they will attend the city council meeting to receive a proclamation from the mayor supporting their efforts.