North Tulsa Comes Together To Drown Out Violence With Fellowship

Sunday, August 2nd 2015, 11:07 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Against a backdrop of violence spurred by several gang connected killings lately, a community met today in hopes to stop the violence.

It easily was the largest neighborhood party that's happened in north Tulsa in years.

And after Sunday, they're talking about making it a regular event.

It was hard to tell who enjoyed it more -- the children, who had lots to see and do between the Jupiter Jumps and the animals and everything a block party is made of -- or the adults, who were seeing their community come together in a way that used to happen all the time.

Well over a thousand people -- some estimated 2,000-plus -- met in a park for an afternoon.

Many people said they saw people they grew up around but haven't seen in years.

For organizer Mareo Johnson, a former gang member turned preacher, it could not have gone better.

“You don't see this often where a lot of people, our people, get together and there’s no fighting,” Johnson said. “Not one fight, no shooting, and it shows there can be love and peace when the community comes together if they have that in mind.”

And it was a regular community event, with car enthusiasts showing off their rides and teenagers meeting their friends. The motorcycle clubs were there, but mostly it was families.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Dedlorn Sanders grew up here.

“I stayed out of trouble and anybody can do it if they want to,” Sanders said.

He tells young people they have a choice.

"You can go to all these schools over here and still make it, and you can't use ‘growing up on the north side’ as an excuse for getting in trouble."

There was plenty of food, lots of water and some sermons from the stage.

“It reminds me that we always need to love on each other and be concerned about each other and communication is the No. 1 thing because without communication, you don't know me and I don't know you,” New Day Fellowship’s O.J. Hawkins said.