By: Lanetra Bennett I Eyewitness News
December 31, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A group of pastors are coming together in prayer and support for Tallahassee's new police chief, Lawrence Revell.

Controversy has surrounded the appointment of Revell since the announcement on December 26.

The coalition of faith and community leaders held a press conference Tuesday to ask the community to come together in support of Revell.

The conference took place at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. Revell was in attendance, along with the city manager, assistant city manager, and city commissioners.

The pastors are deeply concerned with the increase in gun violence. They say this is not the time to fight the chief, but to embrace and encourage him and the Tallahassee Police Department.

Pastor R.B. Holmes says working together is the best way to address crime in the community. "The Bible says a house divided against itself cannot stand. So we can no longer fight each other. We got to fight for each other," he said.

"If we falter, then our communities falter, our children falter, grandchildren will falter. We stand here today resolute behind our new chief to give him the support and the backing that he needs." Local pastor Rudolph Ferguson said.

The group prayed for Revell during the press conference. He says he's humbled and honored.

"We have to address the violence in our town. We will together. This could not be a better start for what we are planning, than to call this community together in unity. It is time for us to move forward and we will move forward quickly." Chief Revell said.

The pastors and faith leaders also announced the formation of a "Solution and Strategy Task Force" that will develop a comprehensive plan of action will focus on the significant reduction of gun violence and support innovative programs that target at-risk youth.

A summative "white paper" from the Solution and Strategy Task Force's research and deliberations will be presented to law enforcement agencies as well as Leon County's civic and political leadership.

They also announced the following upcoming events:

Saturday, January 25, 2020, 8 a.m.: The Annual Prayer Service at 8:00 am at the Civic Center sponsored by Rev. Greg James, Pastor of Life Church International.

Sunday, January 26, 2020, 5 p.m.: A "Call to Unity Service" held at the Life Changers Church of God In Christ, 601 Miccosukee Rd, Tallahassee, FL, 32308, Pastors Gerald and Judy Mandrell. The speaker for the Unity Service will be Reverend Dr. Joseph T. Wright, Pastor of the Jerusalem Missionary Church and President of the Tallahassee Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.