General CBF / Justice and Peacemaking Ministries

Churches remember victims of violence on Second Sunday of Advent

Louisville-area churches have a meaningful innovation for the Second Sunday of Advent.

Highland Baptist on the Second Sunday of Advent

Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., with it's Second Sunday of Advent commemoration.

Highland Baptist Church joins with Ridgewood Baptist and St. William Catholic churches in Louisville this Sunday to remember victims of violence and their families in their community by placing crosses on the front lawn of the church.

This Sunday following their morning worship services, Highland Baptist will read the names of the 45 people to date who have been killed this year in an act of violence and place a cross on the lawn in their honor. The annual event occurs during the season of Advent on Peace Sunday.

Highland Baptist began this tradition in 1997 in Joe Phelps’ first year as pastor to draw attention to a rash of murders in the metropolitan Louisville area.

“We grieve with those families for whom this is not a season of joy, and hold out the life of Jesus as a model for putting away violence,” Phelps said.  “We also pray for all who work to make our community safe and just. It is a testament to the hope that God is not done.”

Highland Baptist and Ridgewood Baptist began a ministry partnership in 2008 with shared pastoral leadership. Joe Phelps is Pastor of Highland Baptist, and Steven Schafer is associate pastor at Ridgewood.

To learn more about this tradition, contact Highland Baptist Church at (502) 451-3735 or visit the website at

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