‘We will continue to grow:’ Faith leaders gather for Ahmaud Arbery Trial

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — On the steps in front of the Glynn County Courthouse faith leaders from around Glynn County and from many different religious affiliations gathered.

“Since Ahmaud Arbery was killed on Feb. 23, 2020, people have expressed feelings of hurt, anger, sadness, fear,” Rabbi Rachel M. Bregman of Temple Beth Tefilloh said.

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They linked arms, bowed their heads in prayer and sang, all trying to spread the message of unity and support while emotions run high during the murder trial of three men accused of killing Arbery.

“Today is the beginning of the actual trial. We want to set the same tone we set at the beginning of jury selection,” Rev. DeWayne Cope St. Athanasius Episcopal Church said.

Cope told Action News Jax some people in his congregation expressed concern after a mostly white jury was picked in a case that centers largely on race.

“Spent time with several of my members yesterday but still giving them a sense of things will work out,” he said.

Faith leaders said they know this is going to be an emotional time for a lot of community members, but they’re going to be here offering people a place to come and pray or even talk about what’s happening.

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“I think the group realized there’s some care that needs to be offered here to say this is in God’s hands and you know the justice system is going to do its thing,” said Tom Purdy, rector at Christ Church Frederica.

And after the trial reaches a verdict and comes to an end, these faith leaders will be here ready to help the community heal.

“From this place of connection. Once these cameras are gone and the world has moved on, we will continue to grow,” Bregman said.