BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - "Operation Step Up" is in full effect around the city of Birmingham to try and reduce crime. Now, Mayor Randall Woodfin is calling on the church community to step up as well.
Pastor Chris Hodges of the multi-site megachurch Church of the Highlands recent met with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin about how the church can branch out to help bring down crime specifically in four high crime areas around the city.
"He says Chris there are four of them that are keeping me up at night. There are four of them that people should not live in, in the fear they are living in, the crime they are living in, the poverty they are living in," Hodges said. "He said Pastor, if you'll go in there and just do anything you feel led to do, we will come alongside you and help you."
So on Sunday, Hodges announced the church will open up a new campus.
"We're going to launch a campus right in the heart of the highest crime in our entire city. We're going to do a live service with live speaking and different music and it's going to be different in a lot of ways to meet the needs of that community. We're going to reach the drug dealers and we're going to get the crime to stop. Come on everybody, we're going to be the local church," Hodges told his congregation.
Woodfin is encouraging more churches to take the same approach. He says it's going to take everyone working together to make a difference.
"You are sitting on a lot of resources. I know your heart is in the right place. You don't have to wait on the city of Birmingham. You don't have to wait on the school system to help a family, to help children, to feed people. To fight recidivism to help people get jobs. To promote and including your individual faith but please help," Woodfin said.
Hodges did announce the pastor of the new campus will be former Auburn standout Mayo Sowell. We did reach out to the church and we're hoping to learn more specifics about the location in the coming days.