• Memphis pastor hosting conference after receiving numerous letters from children describing abuse

    By: Jeremy Pierre

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Frayser pastor said he’s received letters from children all over Memphis describing how they have either been physically or sexually abused.

    Devante Hill shared with FOX13 letters students from his church’s summer camp wrote about their personal trauma. 

    "I am currently depressed because I have not dealt with the pass of being raped by a family member, a student, and someone I though was a friend,” Hill said. 

    Hill said he received more than 70 letters from teens describing physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. 

    "It's pretty overwhelming. I was overwhelmed for two days after reading these,” Hill said. 


    Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD


    Trending stories:


    Hill told FOX13’s Jeremy Pierre these letters pushed him to do something to allow the children who wrote these letters to treat their trauma. 

    Hill, along with Dr. Brenda Caldwell, is hosting a three-day conference geared toward children who have been abused. 

    The conference is called “Surgery For the Soul.”

    The conference will offer a safe outlet for children to speak about their experiences while receiving professional help. 

    "These children are dealing with real deal issues and if we truly want to combat crime in our city, we first got to deal with the emotional trauma that our children are dealing with,” Hill said. 

    The letters – all handwritten – also come from teens who are dealing with the trauma of violence that’s happened either in their family or neighborhood. 

    "These are kids and they are dealing with issues that adults have dealt with,” Hill said. 

    “Surgery For the Soul” will go on Thursday and Friday night at One Church Memphis in Frayser at 3000 N. Watkins.

    Next Up: