Gangs and Rural Ministry….


The title of this post sounds like an oxymoron, but it is becoming a real problem. It has been for a while in parts of the country. Unfortunately this problem hit a little too close to home a few years ago.

images I grew up in a small town in Southern Illinois. You never really heard about , except for the evening news in St Louis, 65 miles away. No one ever thought of that kind of thing happening in our small town, until 2010. There were a group of white teenage boys that were social misfits that decided they would form a gang they called the Pville Saints. During the process of this formation, they targeted a 15 year old girl, broke into her house and killed her by strangulation and gunshot, and dumped her body in a creek. they later came back and weighted the body to sink. It rocked the small county to think that something as brutal as what those young men did could happen in a small, seemingly safe community. (Here is more info about this particular case…)

There is not much info out there about Rural Gangs.

Here are a couple of great resources:

There is some great thoughts about Rural Gangs from Chris @ Conversations on the Fringe

The Village of Coal Valley, Illinois Police Department has some good as well

What is going on in your community? Are there signs of gang activity, even though you are in a small town?

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Brent Lacy

Youth Pastor. Web Designer. Homeschool Dad. Former Child Abuse Investigator. IT Technician. Writer. Lock-in Survivor. Rural Ministry Advocate. These all describe the experiences and stories that are part of Brent Lacy’s time in ministry. Brent grew up on 160 acres of corn, soybeans and cattle in Southern Illinois. He is currently a Rural Ministry Specialist with National Network of Youth Ministry (NNYM), based in Rockville, Indiana where he lives with his beautiful wife and three awesome kids in the Covered Bridge Capital of the World! His book "Rural Youth Ministry: Thrive Where You're Planted" is available at and on the Kindle Store.

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