AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - A year ago, an Augusta church took to the streets to rid their neighborhood of drug dealers. Now, residents are thanking the church for taking that stand.
Years ago, South Nellieville became the first neighborhood in Augusta where black people could buy houses. But in recent times it had become rife with drugs. Arvella Robinson, a member of Mount Vernon Baptist Church, says the last straw was when she realized she was too scared to visit friends or sit outside on her porch. She turned to the church.
The Reverend Marvin McRae, pastor at Mount Vernon, took to the streets with the congregation, praying for drug dealers in the neighborhood. They continued to do so throughout the year. Now, McRae says she sees a difference. Other residents also say drug dealers seem to be keeping a lower profile.
But they also say they're still nervous about drug activity in the neighborhood. They'd like to see an organized neighborhood watch program, as well as continued vigilance by the church.