Walkers take a stand against drugs; violence

Published 7:31 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2017

By Melanie Ruberti



The haunting lyrics of failure, love and redemption from the song “Broken Ones” echoed loudly through the city streets early Saturday morning.

The words sung, by former drug addicts and their loving supporters, encouraged participants as they walked in the inaugural “A Step in Faith Freedom March.”

A group of 75 participants, led by event coordinator Michael Moat, stepped off on North Greenwood Street in front of LaGrange High School and ended on LaFayette Square.

“I felt the Holy Spirit with us. I felt like Jesus was walking right alongside us,” Moat said about the march. “I believe we touched a lot of lives today. I feel blessed to be given the vision (for the march) and blessed to share it with others.”

Moat is no stranger to drugs, addiction, jail or violence.

He started selling illegal narcotics when he was 17 years old.

It would be years later before Moat gave his life to Christ and became clean and sober.

Now, he is using his own story to propel others to take a stand against drugs and violence through the “Step in Faith Freedom March.”

The event kicked off with a rally and testimonies in the parking lot in front of LHS.

“We prayed over the city and over the walk,” Moat said.

The group then began their journey towards LaFayette Square. Some sang songs of hope, some held up signs and banners of encouragement, while others walked in quiet reflection. But almost all the participants took steps of determination to put an end to drug abuse and crime in the community.

The march ended at the Break Every Chain event – where more people gathered to support those recovering from addictions.

Organizer Kelly Camp told the Daily News it was the biggest crowd she had seen since starting the event in November of 2015.

“I think we share the love of Christ up here with people – whether they’re battling addictions or not,” she stated.

Camp estimated nearly 400 people traveled through LaFayette Square during the Break Every Chain event.

She and Moat partnered together and coordinated their gatherings as a symbol of solidarity in the battle against drug addictions.

Moat had a message for people still stuck in a revolving cycle of selling and abusing illegal narcotics.

“I just want them to know there is hope,” he said. “For those who feel lost, there is hope. There are places you can go to get help and get sober … for those (people) sitting at home, bound by addictions … those are the ones we love. Those are the ones we prayed for today (Saturday).”

Moat and Camp plan to partner up again next spring.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.