By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A local ministry group is doing what it can to put an end to gang violence.
The Divine Wisdom Task Gang Ministry spent Sunday at Edwards Park having their annual summit to put their anti-gang message into action.
The ministry's mission is to put an end to gang violence and let young people know there is hope and help out there.
Former gang member Francisco Garcia shared his story as a survivor.
"Everybody has the story. Everybody has been involved here in gangs," Garcia said. "I was one of the leaders of the biggest gang in Oklahoma and now God changed my life. I was shot myself, four times with a 45 and left for dead with gang violence."
People like Garcia, former gang members, are living proof that there's much more beyond life on the streets.
With the recent string of violence last month, Rev. Theodis Manning, a long time anti-gang advocate, said the summit came at a time when it is most needed.
"It's always tough for me when I hear of a kid getting hurt or killed, yes that's tough. I hate to see that happen to anyone and it shouldn't happen," Rev. Manning said. "Right now we need to stop the killing first and foremost."
The gang ministry is trying to push this message to young people.
"We're here to help the kids in different gangs and we try to do what we can to get these kids in the right direction. Just stop the killing and the violence, that's what we're here for," Rev. Manning said.
For Garcia, he'll continue to reach out to other youths because he was given another chance.
"Not everybody is going to listen and you're going to continue to have drive-bys like that, but we got to do our part," Garcia said.
If you're looking for support, the Divine Worship Task Gang Ministry welcomes anyone who may be walking down on the wrong path.
The ministry is also looking for volunteers and mentors to help their young people, for more information, call 405-455-2139.