A few years ago Wornall Road Baptist Church with former pastor John Mark Clifton noticed an epidemic of murders in the Kansas City area. He was so disturbed by the number of murders in our area that he asked his church to help him do something about it. So they began putting crosses with names on their church lawn for every murder victim in Kansas City and hosting a memorial service for the families of the victims.
In 2015 Clifton asked one of his former residents interns, Adam Carter pastor at Leawood Baptist Church, if they would be able to host the event. Leawood Baptist Church took up the charge and that December they put crosses with the names of each murder victim in the Kansas City area on their lawn where they could be clearly seen. They also hosted a memorial service for the victims’ families called, “The Longest Night”. It takes place on the longest night of the year in recognition that what the families are going through is a long dark night of grieving. But we won’t let them do it alone. The members of Leawood Baptist Church and people from the community invited the families of the victims to attend, wept with them, shared the gospel with them, and prayed with them. And they’ve done it every year since in an effort to let them know that they are cared for.
Next December, take a drive by our church. When you see all the crosses and consider that each name represents a family shattered by grief, you may want to join us as we seek to bring comfort to the hurting during the worst time in their life.