As thousands of people participated in “March for Our Lives” in cities across the U.S. last weekend to protest gun violence, another march has taken place in downtown Dallas, Texas to mark Holy Week and send a message that only God can solve the problem of gun violence.
Members of First Baptist Dallas marched from the megachurch down to Klyde Warren Park to take part in the “March for Eternal Life” to commemorate Holy Week.
Senior Pastor Robert Jeffress, who organized the March, said that although this was the second year that the church has held the event, participants were more enthusiastic this year in light of the demonstrations that took place across the country last weekend.
Jeffress, a known supporter to President Donald Trump, had previously explained that the event was “not contradictory to” but rather “complimentary” to Saturday’s demonstrations.
“We think that is great and certainly re-examining gun control laws may be part of the solution to ending violence but it is not all of the solution,” he said.
“Focusing on legislation change alone to change our country is like putting a bandaid on a cancer [patient]. It doesn’t deal with the root problem,” he added.
The rally began at around 6:30 p.m. outside First Baptist Dallas with a gospel music performance from Grammy Award-winning artist Sandi Patty, followed by a communion service led by Jeffress.
Thousands began marching around 7:30 p.m., with about 20 to 30 people carrying the 16-foot-tall by 11-foot-wide cross, which was uniquely made for the march. In the weeks leading up to the event, members of First Baptist Dallas wrote the names or initials of people they would be praying for this Easter on the large cross.
“This is the week that we are remembering the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who offers us the only hope of forgiveness and eternal life. That’s why we are calling this ‘March for Eternal Life,'” Jeffress said.
Once the participants arrived at Klyde Warren Park, they erected the brightly illuminated cross in a place of prominence at the 5.2 acre public park in the heart of the city.
Jeffess has stated that the event follows the recent examples of Christians being “publicly shamed” for taking a public stance for their faith, pointing to the attacks against the faith of Vice President Mike Pence and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
“We think that it is time for Christians to lovingly and boldly say, ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel,'” the pastor said.