Not on our watch @ the RNC

Story posted July 21, 2016 in Convention Coverage by Emily Kohlman.

CLEVELAND – The recipe for a successfully uneventful Republican National Convention calls for thousands of police officers and months of planning, but one of the secret ingredients is prayer, according to Hope Is Here ministry director Joel Reichlin.

A Cleveland native, Reichlin said that a collaborative effort by hundreds of churches around the country during the convention has succeeded in creating a convivial environment for delegates, protestors and other convention attendees.

“We came to bring peace where there is discourse, love where there is hatred,” he said.

Street preaching requires a very specific approach, especially during a time when the nation is experiencing a lot of violence, said Reichlin.

The multitude of pastors hosted 24-hour prayer services on the outskirts of the city every day and came into downtown Cleveland to pray with protesters in Public Square and in streets surrounding the Quickens Loan Arena in an effort to maintain peace.

To prepare for what was anticipated to be a riotous occasion, pastors received instruction on how to preach at a high security event.

“Not on our watch,” said Reichlin.

On Thursday, one of the pastors, David Fisher, from Akron, Ohio, looked on as people held hands and formed a circle in the middle of Public Square. He said he took the training classes to come to pray for others and spread God’s love with hopes of keeping everyone safe during the convention.

Fisher said some “fake” preachers who are not associated with churches are pretending to be doing the same thing he is doing in order to get media attention. He said their sole priority was not the safety of the city and the people.

“This is like my city, and I want it to be safe,” Fisher said.

A pastor at a non-denominational church, Fisher said he brought about 150 other members with him to Cleveland. While Fisher will not be going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week, many of the other pastors at in Cleveland this week will be, he said.

Taking advantage of their time in Cleveland, the pastors will continue hosting events for the remainder of the week. Fisher said they are planning a hip-hop party for thousands of young adults at the Cleveland Agora, a nearby music venue.