Pastor John Raphael Jr. of the New Hope Baptist Church has been preparing his New Year's Eve sermon while holding a vigil at South Claiborne Avenue and Felicity Street.
Pastor Raphael had thought his three-day fast and anti-violence vigil would be a solitary experience. But his signs calling for and end to the city's killings have drawn supporters to his encampment on the neutral ground. He chose the spot for its memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King.
The former New Orleans police officer says he wanted to do something to call attention to the problem.