While some political organizations are actively inciting division and violence in response to the tragic death of George Floyd, Christians of all races gathered in Dallas in an effort to bring heaven down to earth.
Ever since the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, protests and riots have spread across the nation. On the weekend of May 30, violence hit the downtown Dallas area, with stores being smashed and looted.
Since then, the riots have ended, and an eerie calm has descended upon the city.
Despite the calm, anyone driving through Dallas can see the damage that has already been done and the questions that remain for so many: how much the shop owners have lost, how many employees have been hurt, and how many will be left jobless.
What is the solution? Some in Dallas were led to share the answer residing in their hearts.
At 3 p.m. on a sweaty Sunday afternoon, Pastor Daniel Carmona of Remnant Church, along with his wife and mother, gathered with other Christians in front of the Dallas County Commissioners Court building on Elm Street in downtown Dallas.
People of all colors came to pray, repenting to God and asking Him to bring unity, healing, and to eradicate racism.
“We’re calling this march ‘Revive Dallas’ because we believe He needs to revive this city,” Pastor Carmona said. “We’re broken down, we’re shackled down, and we don’t know what to expect anymore.”
Walking with these believers through the downtown area with Carmona and his wife praying loudly through a megaphone, one can understand exactly what he means. As they marched from Elm to Exposition to Main Street, they passed store after store boarded up with wood.
Dallas looked less like Dallas and more like a post-apocalyptic movie set.
The group prayed as they marched through the downtown area, holding signs that read “Lord Heal Our Land,” “Do Not Fear America, Turn to God,” and “The Only Hope Is Jesus Christ.”
“We’re here to declare God’s goodness all over the city again,” Carmona said. “Right now, we’re not protesting. We’re praying for God’s glory to fall upon this city. We’re asking for forgiveness for the city.”
They weren’t the only ones appealing to God. Across the street from a Black Lives Matter rally at the JFK Memorial Plaza, a group of about 10 others were praying and worshipping God.
“Hallelujah, Jesus, your name above all names,” sang a man named Jessy, who played a guitar while leading the group in Chris Tomlin’s “How Great is Our God” in front of the old Dallas County Courthouse.
“We are worshipping God … because we are [believers] in our Lord Jesus Christ,” Jessy told Texas Scorecard. “We need Jesus in this nation. We need Jesus because we know He is the solution.”
Marco, who was walking and praying with Carmona, agreed.
“Our message is: for God so loved the world that He came and He gave His Son for everybody,” he said. He added that while he supports Black Lives Matter, he doesn’t agree with the recent violence. He also supports the police and says he doesn’t want them all done away with.
“There’s always bad eggs in the basket somewhere, whether it’s in the church, in politics, no matter where.”
Carmona also expressed his solidarity with those upset over Floyd’s tragic death.
“We’re speaking out against the police brutality, against the racism, against the injustice of the law of government going on right now,” he said. Like Marco, Carmona also doesn’t believe the solution is to eliminate the police department, as he feels the city still needs law and order, but he does support holding the police accountable.
“I think that they need to do right. When there’s people that do wrong, we need to put them in the court.”
Carmona, who has a criminal record consisting of five felonies and six misdemeanors, has a unique perspective on law and order.
“I come from a mindset that used to think that cops were just out to get minorities,” he explained. “However, when I changed my life around and gave my life over to God, now I own a multimillion-dollar business. And now I go forth, and I can create things like this.”
What turned his life around? The answer is who he and others in the city were praying to and worshipping: Jesus.
“When I got out of jail, I couldn’t get a job other than being a busboy at IHOP. But surrendering myself to the Lord … I think that’s the biggest thing, surrendering yourself to God. When you surrender to Him, He begins to open up doors. And the things that seem impossible, He opens up.”
Jonathon Dudley, another who was praying with Carmona, agreed.
“We’re here to show [the people] that the Savior can fix this.”