Like many cities, Kansas City, Missouri, has experienced a jump in crime, particularly violent crime. As a pastor and community leader, Darron LaMonte Edwards of United Believers Community Church is stepping up to help. It’s a concept he developed called “Getting to the Heart of the Matter”- ten steps intended to prevent circumstances for crime from happening in the first place. Pastor Edwards believes God wants him to “step into the gap to slow down, to push back darkness so that light can shine.” 

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Pastor says there is definitely some distrust between the local community and law enforcement. “We face the same challenges as Chicago, as Atlanta, as Portland, as many of the cities across our country. We’re still trying to bridge the divide that created the distrust and that’s why Getting to the Heart of the Matter was created, to be the bridge between the police and the community – and the community and the police.” He believes faith communities, pastors, have the best chance of bridging that gap. 

Implementation of the program has taken some time “to jump all the political hurdles” in the city, but now it has been “embraced by the chief of police and by KC PD and we’re beginning to see great strides happen.”

32 faith communities are already onboard with Getting to the Heart of the Matter – and Pastor Edwards says that took place in just two weeks. “Well, the Heart of the Matter is looking at the unique and systemic challenges that face Kansas City, Missouri.” He explains the city has six police divisions in each section of the community, each with its own crime signature. For example, “In midtown Kansas City, the number one systemic challenge is homicide. Well, in the Northland of Kansas City, it’s petty crime. In the south of Kansas City, it’s car theft.” And in each sector of the city, churches are working with police and the community to raise awareness of the specific crime activity and re-establish mutual trust.

Listen to our podcast interview to learn more about this determined pastor as his plan moves forward.

Pastor Edwards and local police
[Photo Credit: Pastor Darron Edwards] Pastor Edwards and local police