The Rev. Larry C. Battles, DD, a local pastor, is the new co-chairman of the Pine Bluff National TenPoint Expansion and Training Hub, an anti-violence initiative.

On Monday, Oct. 1, the Pine Bluff TenPoint and Pen or Pencil effort are planning a “From Nonviolence to No Violence” March on Washington Street in the Broadmoor community. The event aligns with the National Crime Prevention Month, according to a news release.

Battles is moderator of the St. Marion Baptist District Association and pastor of Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church at Pine Bluff. He and the Rev. Jesse C. Turner, pastor of Elm Grove Baptist Church at Pine Bluff, will jointly serve as leaders in coordinating training, community and faith collaboration to launch and sustain the initiative, according to the release.

“I am more than happy to serve in this capacity,” Battles said. “Working together with city officials, law enforcement and faith leaders toward a common goal of reducing violence, building a safe, healthy and drug-free community while restoring purpose and opportunity for those returning from prison is a positive for my community. Pine Bluff TenPoint certainly adds value to reestablishing the city as a place of destination.”

Addie L. Richburg, is the national policy and strategic advisor for the National TenPoint Training Institute at Washington, D.C.

“The identification and cooperation of leadership and the concurrence of the mayor and police chief gave all demonstrated commitment and vital first steps in moving TenPoint forward in Pine Bluff,” Richburg said.

Pine Bluff TenPoint, a regional target/training hub, adds a mentoring component through Pen or Pencil.

“Continuing Pen or Pencil’s engagement with all school districts in Jefferson County, intervening with students (preferably middle school students), but not limited to these students, having a goal to thwart student involvement in negative behaviors, joining gangs, bullying, fighting, stealing, etc., that sidetrack youngsters from completing their education (Pencil), thus placing them on a fast track to the Penitentiary,” according to the release.

Pine Bluff TenPoint, led by the faith community and students, are calling for an end to violence in Pine Bluff and reaching out for additional mentors who will commit one-hour per week in schools assisting youngsters with their reading or other school subjects/activities. Details: 870-730-1131.