Leawood church honors those murdered in 2017 with Longest Night - KCTV5

Leawood church honors those murdered in 2017 with Longest Night service

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In Kansas City, MO, alone there have been 145 homicides in 2017 but Thursday’s service focuses on murder victims from across the entire metro. (KCTV5) In Kansas City, MO, alone there have been 145 homicides in 2017 but Thursday’s service focuses on murder victims from across the entire metro. (KCTV5)
LEAWOOD, KS (KCTV) -

Church members and families are gathering to remember the lives taken in 2017 by senseless acts of violence in the metro.

Family members will gather on Thursday at Leawood Baptist Church, located at 8200 State Line Road, hoping to keep their loved one’s fate from happening to others.

December 21, is the longest night of the year and that is also the name of the service that will honor those victims.

In Kansas City, MO, alone there have been 145 homicides in 2017 but Thursday’s service focuses on murder victims from across the entire metro.

In 2016, there were 188 homicides in the metro. Now, 195 crosses sit in front of the church, each one bearing the name of a person who was killed in 2017. Five crosses have been left blank as organizers fear the number will climb before the end of the year.

Pastor Adam Carter says since he started the display, the 195 crosses are the most he’s ever had to put up.

“It has been progressively worse. Last year we set a record for the amount of homicides in the Kansas City area and unfortunately, this year, we’ve broken that record by quite a bit,” Carter said.

Carter says as many people are getting ready for the holidays, it’s important to take a moment and remember there are families who are still hurting.

“The greatest thing that can be done for these families is to know that this Kansas City community loves them, supports them and hasn’t forgotten about them,” Carter said.

Carter hopes the display shows drivers this is a problem the community needs to help put a stop to.

On Thursday, he is inviting the victims’ families and the community to come to the service.  

The third-annual Longest Night Memorial Service begins at 7 p.m.

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