LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington city officials and faith leaders gathered in downtown Lexington on Monday to pray for an end to the rising rate of violence in their community. 

What You Need To Know

  • Faith leaders joined the mayor for a prayer vigil in downtown Lexington

  • The prayer vigil was to honor those lost to gun violence

  • As of Sept. 2022, Lexington has had 35 homicides 

  • In all of 2021, Lexington had 37 homicides

Faith leaders from different backgrounds joined Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton to pray for a change. Gorton says the city of Lexington, like many cities nationwide, has seen an increase in gun violence over the last few months.

Currently Lexington has had 35 homicides this year, and Gorton says it’s time for a change.

“Tonight is the time to come together to pray for those we have lost, to pray for their families and friends and to pray for our community,” Gorton said.

Many members from the community attended the prayer vigil holding signs and joined in on the conversation. Pastor Richard Gaines, with Consolidated Baptist Church, says it’s an issue that should concern everyone. 

“It’s a ‘we’ problem. It’s a personal effort that’s required and if we’re to reclaim our communities and our neighborhoods, it must begin with each one of us,” Gaines said.

In 2021, Lexington had 37 total homicides for the entire year, and Gaines says a change has to start from within.

“It’s not a Black problem or a white problem. It’s everybody’s problem. But I’m encouraged tonight as I see Black and white and Hispanic men and women, young and old, that are gathered in this place tonight. They’re saying, ‘we’ve had enough. We want to see something different,’” Gaines said.

Gorton is asking for people in the community to link arms and stand together, hoping to create a safer city for the people of Lexington.