*Before families in Miami’s black communities bury loved ones killed by violent shootings, they call a pastor, says the Miami Herald.
Then pastors console grief-stricken mothers and fathers. And on the day of the funeral, usually a Saturday, they look into the tear-streaked faces of mourners and deliver a eulogy that touches on the value of life.
The victims’ names and ages change, but the somber process is almost formulaic.
“I’m tired of burying our children. I do an average of two funerals a Saturday,” said the Rev. Billy Strange of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City. “When I get a break, I thank God. Sixty or 70 percent of the funerals I do are homicides.”
Armed with the word of God, Strange leads a coalition of pastors from Miami-Dade County’s urban communities who are tackling the issue of violent crimes. The pastors hail from Richmond Heights, Overtown, Liberty City, Miami Gardens and parts of unincorporated Miami-Dade. Their mission is dubbed CAP, derived from “Call A Pastor.”