NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Nashville church has teamed up with the Metro Juvenile Courts in an effort to curb violence across the city.
Gentleman and Not Gangsters (G.A.N.G.) is an 8-week mentoring program aimed to help youth who are currently affiliated with gangs and on probation.
It’s required for about 30 juveniles who have gone through the system.
The program is led by former gang members and law-breakers who are now hoping to keep kids from making the same mistakes they did.
“Ex-gang members, Gangster Disciples, Bloods, Crips, aggravated robbers… so we can relate to where they come from,” said Pastor Marcus Campbell with Mt. Carmel Missionary Church.
The pastor himself hopes his violent past can help shape the future of Nashville’s youth positively.
“I kicked in doors, robbed families, tied them up, shot a lot of folks, sold drugs,” Pastor Campbell explained.
Fred Harris, a probation officer with Metro’s gang unit, said the program fills a need that wasn’t there before.
“It was something that the community needed, to try to bring a program together to suit those kids that are in gangs and try and teach them and show them a better way,” Harris explained.
Wednesday night’s meeting at Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church was just the first. The organization hopes to do it again next summer.