Lonnie Williams is the proud pastor of the Greater Shiloh church in Lufkin, but Pastor Williams is not proud of what he has to see when he walks out of the doors of his church, sometimes after Sunday services. "There are often times you come out the door and you are looking at drug transactions. It's really unnecessary. It's not right for our church members to come out and someone's making a drug transaction in the middle of the street and when the church comes out, you act like it is non existent," says Pastor Lonnie Williams.
Greater Shiloh is in the heart of north Lufkin, in what Pastor Williams calls a high crime area. The church is also right beside Brandon Park, another well known trouble spot. Charles Walker is the supervisor over Brandon Park. "A lot of our problems are drugs, prostitution as well as people running through the park with guns," says Reverend Charles Walker.
The ministers are part of the East Texas Minister Alliance. They are pleased the city has stepped up patrols, but Pastor Williams sent a letter to the city, hoping city leaders will give more attention to the issues of north Lufkin for the safety of neighborhood children. "Most of the kids that come to park just want to have a good time, but you also have the element that will come at times and create a problem. We want the city to be aware of it. We want the community to be aware of it so we can address it and stop it before someone ends up getting hurt or someone ends up dying from an incident that's really uncalled for," says Pastor Williams.