Tampa church plans unity prayer service in response to the hatred and violence in Charlottesville

Reverend: All are welcome to combat the hate

TAMPA, Fla. - Rev. Glenn Dames said watching the hatred and violence in Charlottesville is something he thought was a thing of the past.

“This is a conversation that our parents and grandparents had in their time. And we really thought we had moved beyond this conversation,” he said.

The Reverend leads the congregation at the Allen Temple AME Church in Ybor City. And Wednesday night, to combat the hate, they are hosting a prayer service open for all.

“It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter who you love,” he said. “Tampa Bay is rich in diversity and so we are going to show the melting pot that Tampa Bay is.”

This isn’t the first time Dames’ church felt a calling to act.

“We’ve seen this movie before.”

They were rocked after their sister church in Charleston South Carolina experienced the horror of a mass shooting. Nine people were killed, including the pastor, a close friend of Reverend Dames.

They are also at the forefront in efforts to remove a Confederate Memorial from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse. 

A statue of Robert E. Lee is what sparked the rally and violence that followed in Virginia.

“I hope seeing the type of hatred that the statue has produced, the type of pain that it brings back up, it’s like pouring salt in the wound.”

Wednesday’s prayer service begins at 7 p.m. at the Allen Temple, 2101 North Lowe Street.

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