New Horizon stands against bullying

The crowd enjoys a hip-hop message denouncing bullying at the anti-bullying rally at New Horizon Outreach Ministries.

CLEVELAND TINKER/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.

Young people learned they have people with power who they can turn to when they need help from being bullied and when they need help to stop being bullies.



* Pastor: Co-Pastors Michael and Crystal Griffin.

* Location: 127 NE 15th St.

* Services: Sunday School is 10:30 a.m., followed by morning worship at 11:30 a.m. and evening worship at 6:30 p.m.

* Phone: 352-281-7685.

"How many of you know there is help out there and you don't have to be by yourself," said Pastor Crystal Griffin, co-pastor of New Horizon Outreach Ministries, as she spoke at the church's first-ever "I Stand Against Bullying Rally" held Saturday afternoon on the grounds of the northeast Gainesville church. "How many of you know that when we walk, God is right behind us. Amen. And he puts people in our paths to help us, so we are not going to allow bullying to be in our homes, in our churches and in our communities."

The rally was organized by Walter Henderson, director of the youth ministry at the church. Henderson said he felt compelled to organize the rally because bullying is affecting the community as it never has in the past.

"I was bullied when I was small and this is the vision that God has given me to go forward with helping the young kids because I have a passion to help young kids," Henderson said.

Griffin told the kids to report bullying to an authority figure at school, their parents, pastors and any responsible adult. She also offered a prayer and asked God to deliver all communities from the perils of bullying.

Griffin said bullying has had a stronghold on a young member of her church who is in middle school. She said she and her husband, Pastor Michael Griffin, and others went to the girl's home to pray in her room. Griffin said the girl was being bullied at school and had written the names of the people bullying her on a mirror.

After praying in the girl's room one Sunday, Griffin said the next day a pastor from the church went with the girl's mother to get her transferred to another school.

"She still struggles with it, but it is a process we have to keep working on because she has gotten a little deliverance, but it is going to take more," said Griffin, adding that she and others still pray in the girl's room to get "that spirit out of there."

The event also featured T-shirts for sale with the slogan, "I Stand Against Bullying," and a footprint painted on the front. Griffin said the shirts were created by Tony Thomas, a member of the church.

A performance by the McGills, all members of New Horizon, captivated the crowd as they performed an original song titled "I Stand Against Bullying," which was written by group member Varion McGill.

Shonteria McGill, an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Kanapaha Middle School, said she learned a lot at the rally.

"I learned that you really should not bully people because it hurt people's feelings and it makes them feel bad," said Shonteria. "I also learned that people bully other people because something bad might be going on at their home or they might be depressed and take it out on other people's children, and that's not right."

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