A Ministry of Presence to South Minneapolis Locals

By Todd Sumlin   •   May 30, 2020

A dozen crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are ministering in Minneapolis in the wake of George Floyd's death. Here, a chaplain shares a moment with a child and his family.
Floyd died on Memorial Day, May 25, after being held down by a Minneapolis Police officer at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. Chaplains spent time at that very spot, talking and sometimes praying with people who visited the memorial to pay their respects.
As chaplains talked with concerned, passionate people in the area over the weekend, this young girl found beauty in the day by simply tossing flower petals into the air. Her joyful spirit prompted some older adults to smile even as they read the heart-wrenching signs nearby. One sign in this predominantly African American community simply asked the question, "Will my son be next?"
Many in the area have visited a stretch of the city where thousands have gathered in past days to protest, pray and express their thoughts on what happened.
Protestors chanted even as the sun descended on Minneapolis on Saturday.
The Rapid Response Team's Mobile Ministry Center set up near the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. The pavement nearby was covered in flowers and heartfelt messages written in chalk, all in tribute to Floyd.
Talking through a crisis situation can help ease tension and work through difficult emotions.
A small group of people circled up to pray Saturday night behind the destroyed Wells Fargo. Nearby, a woman named Mona (not pictured) couldn't keep the tears from filling her eyes as people boarded up the windows. The documents that proved her U.S. citizenship were in a safe box inside the burned-down building. "I'm not angry," Mona said. "Just brokenhearted."
Prayer is at the core of every response, and chaplains joined their brothers and sisters in Minnesota to cry out to God. Do you know the peace that only Christ can bring?
Many protesters peacefully toed the line with law enforcement officials, who ultimately enforced the curfew set by the Minnesota government.
Law enforcement officials enforced curfew on Saturday night in Minneapolis, deploying tear gas and rubber bullets when necessary. "The only good cop is a dead one" and other messages were spraypainted on the storefronts they passed while sweeping the streets. One officer acknowledged the messages, but said it didn't hurt because he believed a small percentage of the population felt that way.
Early Saturday morning, chaplains joined prayer warriors at Living Word Christian Center in Minneapolis. Chaplain Ken Dunlap (left) encouraged fellow believers saying, "As you're praying, we're reclaiming ground."
A mural honoring Floyd was painted near the site of his death. On Saturday, people demonstrated peacefully but passionately in Minneapolis, a city that served as headquarters of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for 50 years.
Please continue to pray for this community and the entire nation as demonstrations are unfolding coast-to-coast.