Ferguson faith leaders reach out to local clergy for guidance

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Pastors from Ferguson, Missouri, have contacted faith leaders in central Florida for guidance with handling the violence and protests following the shooting death of an unarmed teenager.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9. Since then, there has been daily protests and sporadic violence in the community.

Channel 9 has learned that religious leaders in Missouri are in contact with pastors in central Florida who dealt with the aftermath of Trayvon Martin's death.

"They want the help," said Pastor Larry Mills from Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Orlando. "Right now the clergy's concern is the rioting and the looting is going to be a diversion from the real issue."

According to Mills, what kept Sanford residents from turning to violence after Martin's death was simple.

"The police, the city council, clergy particularly, walked Sanford," said Mills.

Pastors in Ferguson also want central Florida clergy to reach out to relatives and friends in Missouri.

"Give nonviolent strategies," said Mills.

After speaking with faith leaders in Ferguson, Mills said he's confident the violence will subside.

"The violence has to stop so that number one, we can have a voice, number two, we can preserve what we have, and number three, justice can be done," said Mills.

Ferguson ministers are asking outsiders to avoid coming into the city until order is fully restored.