CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) - People in Charleston are coming together to fight growing violent crime rates.
Just this past weekend, we told you about an 18 year-old shot to death in the street.
Now, a group of four quickly grew to hundreds joining forces to improve life in the community.
That effort started Thursday night with a prayer walk, and they're walking with a purpose.
To honor young lives lost in the face of violence and create a peaceful, united city.
This prayer walk was organized in just a few days to help enact a brighter future through faith.
"There have been a number of shootings in Charleston in recent months and it's escalating and it's bothersome to us," said Southeast Missouri State University Assistant Professor Tamara Zellars Buck.
Tamara Zellars Buck doesn't live in Charleston anymore, but she stills worships at church there.
And the increase in violent crime on the streets of Charleston hasn't gone unnoticed.
"There's just not enough man power to police it when there's that kind of gun violence going on," said Zellars Buck. "So we're worried and it's not home. We grew up walking on those streets. That's what we did was walk those streets all the time and that's not what Charleston is about and that's not what these children and families should have to deal with."
A passionate Facebook post by one Charleston native sparked a discussion between friends.
Then, hat small group turned into a Facebook page with hundreds of likes.
The Cause for Christ is a faith-based movement to make a change in Charleston.
"So we said let's mobilize immediately and bring prayer back to the streets of Charleston in a very peaceful and deliberate way," said Zellars Buck.
It's a coalition between churches, community members and organizations with one goal in mind: to better the city and show support for it's people.
"We really do care about what's going on and it's not just well that's just that side of town we don't have to worry about it," said city employee Joshua McKinney. "No. It's the whole community, it's the whole city of Charleston and everybody should care about everybody else."
Thursday night's prayer walk is just the start of a long-term goal.
But organizers hope it'll be an impetus for change.
"The community didn't start deteriorating overnight, it's not going to be fixed overnight,: said Zellars Buck. "One prayer walk is not going to do it, but we hope that the prayer walk sparks an interest, which ignites a flame, which starts an inferno so that we can burn off all that old and bad and really create something new."
The Cause for Christ already has two meetings scheduled for April,with a second prayer walk set for April 25.