November 6, 2017. WKYT.

Hundreds of people from 26 congregations gathered Monday to discuss the biggest issues facing Lexington.

The forum was organized by BUILD, Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct-Action, a coalition of people of faith.

“No one single person can bring about change. No one congregation can do this by themselves,” said Consolidated Baptist Church Senior Pastor, Richard Gaines. “We are seeking to do together what none of us can do on our own.”

Members heard speakers discuss a variety of issues facing the community including health care, education/youth, and drugs.

Each congregation got together and cast votes on the top issue for 2018. Drugs won with 352 votes, followed by education/youth at 152, and 16 for health care.

Adam Jones is the pastor for Open Door Church. He said this issue of drugs hits close to home.

“We have seen an uptick in crime in our neighborhood, break-ins in our church personally. We’ve seen arrests happen in our neighborhood of youth that we know have been on drugs. So, it affects our network,” Jones said.

BUILD members will now research drugs and make a plan to take action.

Leaders pledged to have more than 2,000 people at BUILD’s annual Nehemiah Action Assembly on May 8 at Heritage Hall. That is when they will officially begin to focus on the issue of drugs for 2018.

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