CENTER POINT, AL (WBRC) - A rousing greeting met Huffman High School students as they arrived at school Monday.
"Rise up! Rise up!" chanted members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church as they created a human chain to show solidarity and love.
"We pray so much inside the church. Now it's time to be present outside the church so people see we are supportive of what's going on," said Bishop Stephen Davis.
New Birth sits less than a mile from the school where 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington was shot and killed Wednesday.
17-year-old Huffman High sophomore Michael Jerome Barber is charged with manslaughter in connection with her death.
Bishop Davis says if there is ever a time for the church to be present, this is it. "I made a statement yesterday—'Evil prevails when good men do nothing'," Davis says. We decided we're good people so we're going to take a stand. We're going to use our voice to make a difference."
There was increased police presence at the school Monday.
But it wasn't enough to convince some students who came to class to stay.
"I told her, just see how it is and so she texted me at school and said, 'I'm not feeling it. Can you come and get me,'" says Jannease Mosely.
She has a daughter who is a junior at Huffman High and another child at Huffman Middle, where a gun was recently brought to school.
Mosely is now considering taking both her children out to homeschool them.
"You know she would like to finish out school here so she can walk across the stage. But at this point, I just want you to walk home."