Mother's Day declared day of nonviolence

May 09, 2001

Mother's Day declared day of nonviolence


Day of Nonviolence


Staff Photographer

Lenzlea F. Mosby Jr. speaks at Asbury United Methodist Church, where Mother's Day was declared a day of nonviolence. Mosby was the victim of a brutal knife attack at his former grocery store.

Who better than a victim of violence to declare Mother's Day a day of nonviolence in Hagerstown.

"All of us have to stand up and face the problem of violence," said Lenzlea F. Mosby Jr. to a packed house Tuesday afternoon at Asbury United Methodist Church.

A former grocer, Mosby fell victim to violence on Jan. 20, 1996, when a customer angry that Mosby would not cash his check pulled out a knife and drove it into Mosby's cheek, neck, chest, hands and stomach.


The man was caught and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Mosby recovered. He now takes tough stands against anything that he believes spawns violence.

"I am here today as the co-chairman of the Nonviolence Committee of the Western Maryland District of United Methodist Church," Mosby said.

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II presented the Rev. Yvonne Mercer-Staten and District Superintendent Kenneth Lyons with a proclamation officially declaring Mother's Day a day of nonviolence.

Also in attendance Tuesday were more than a dozen local clergy members, leaders of city, county and state police, Hagerstown city government, representatives of probation and parole, the state's attorney's office, county housing authority and children from the Asbury Homework Club.

Mosby hasn't been the only one troubled as the neighborhood around his former North Jonathan Street store has slowly succumbed to drugs and violence.

The Rev. Nancy Ward, also a member of the nonviolence coalition, asked God's help to stop the violence as did Carolyn Brooks, HotSpots coordinator.

Lyons echoed those pleas and thanked Hagerstown's mayor for joining in that effort.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if every child would take Mother's Day to do something good in the world?" Bruchey said.

Mercer-Staten took that one step further and challenged churches to open their doors at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 13, and empower nonviolence in their neighborhoods.

"Where God is in the neighborhood, we know that peace and love will reign," Lyons said. "Love or perish is our theme."

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