BENTON TOWNSHIP — People need to come together to end the violence in the Benton Harbor area, says the Rev. Carlton Lynch of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Benton Township.

Anyone who wants to be part of the solution can join him during A Night of Hope, at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Phillips 66 gas station in Benton Township, the site of a shooting death last week.

“I believe that the community is becoming immune to the violence,” he said. “The only way it’s going to stop is for everyone to be against the violence at the same time.”

Lynch said he’s working with the owners of the gas station to try to find a solution. The looting of the gas station two weeks ago was widely shared on social media.

He asks that participants wear face masks and maintain social distance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lynch said the funeral for the 19-year-old Benton Township man shot and killed last week, Taj Carter, will be Saturday at his church, led by the Rev. Maurice McAfee of New Bethel Baptist Church in Sodus Township.

A group of people marched Saturday to call for the end to violence in the city and for police reform, led by community organizer Trenton Bowens, Benton Harbor city Commissioner Sharon Henderson and the Rev. Taurus Montgomery of Harbor of Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in Benton Harbor.

Contact:, 932-0361, Twitter: @HPWrege