Community leaders say they have proof that prayer reduced Memphis crime

MEMPHIS. Tenn. — Community leaders and a retired Memphis police officer said they have proof that praying over the city reduces crime.

More than 100 people will come together Saturday to complete their 72 days of prayer movement.

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Politicians, retired police officers and residents are coming to Frayser to pray as a group this weekend.  

A retired Memphis police officer said the last time they did this, violent crime went down.

Pastor Ricky Floyd of Pursuit of God Church in Frayser is leading what he calls a movement to reduce crime, poverty and blight.

“To anyone who says this doesn’t work, I will tell them, the preacher may lie, but the numbers don’t. There’s statics that is proven.  The police department, we had Col. Sanders and Kirkwood at the time who documented, we would call them and ask them what were the numbers look like,” said Floyd.

FOX13 called James Sanders, a retired colonel with the Memphis Police Department. Sanders confirmed Memphis saw a major reduction in crime the last time pastors came together to pray over the city.

“Everything went down, and it was due to the churches coming together, not just praying but putting work behind that prayer,” said Sanders.

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Residents said although prayer and action from community leaders help, parents must do their part.

“These children need their butt whipped,” said Fontaine Norfleet, a Memphis resident.

Sanders said juvenile crime went down the last time community leaders prayed over the city two years ago and economic development came to Frayser.

“I was a part of three precincts, and each of those precincts where I worked, when the church mobilized itself, connecting itself with the community and praying and working, crime went down.”

“We’re believing God that he’s going to do what we’ve seen him do again through the power of prayer,” said Floyd.

Floyd says aside from prayer, their mentoring program, the Husband Institute, is making a difference in the community as well.

FOX13 asked Floyd what’s the meaning behind the number 72.  The biblical meaning is on the 3rd day Jesus rose again.  24 hours times 3 is 72.