KNOXVILLE (WATE) – For a group of three friends, and pastors, going to Charlottesville, Virginia was a calling — one that was spiritual.
“We were warned several times that our lives were in danger. That by going to where we were going that we were risking injury and that we were risking death. And we had to be o.k. with it.” said Anna Golladay, Pastor Associate Pastor at St. Mark’s Church.
The three pastors– all from Tennessee — drove to Virginia to spread peace. They were invited by a group called Congregate Charlottesville to spread peace “in a time of chaos,” according to Golladay.
“As human beings, as members of the human family no matter what you believe we’ve got to get it together.” said Annette Flynn, a United Methodist Pastor in Oak Ridge and Founder of A. Flynn Partnerships.
Flynn said she wasn’t scared for herself, but out of her comfort zone in the face of peace and violence.
“Having to stand so close to such… vitriol. And experience that discomfort. I was so out of my comfort zone, I don’t like conflict.” said Flynn.
Kevin Blue, a Pastor at Vestal United Methodist in Knoxville said it was his duty to stand up to injustice.
“Regardless of our faith tradition, regardless of what our politics are, if we come together in love then we can heal. Once we begin to heal, then we can heal other wounds within our nation.” said Blue.
Blue’s daughter, Kloi Blue, is seventeen and attended the peaceful protest with her father. She says she never felt scared and feels changed by what she saw and heard.
“There are a lot of things that could’ve happened to me, but I knew I was there for the right reasons and I knew whatever happened to me would be for the right reasons.” said Kloi.