Four days after he was robbed and carjacked outside a Detroit gas station, the Rev. Marvin Winans stepped to his pulpit amid cheers and applause. The 54-year-old pastor and renowned gospel musician told the crowd that packed Perfecting Church on Sunday that he was never afraid during the assault. Nor is he bitter. Rather, he said, “I’m sad.” Sad, he said, because young men have lost their direction, and instead prey on their community.
Speaking to reporters before the church service — an injured finger still bandaged on his left hand — Winans said he would reach out to his assailants, who later that day were to be charged in court. And he called on the city’s young men, fathers, business owners and others to take personal responsibility. Young men need to see their self-worth and their role in the larger community, he said. “The city is fixable, and it starts with the men of the city, in particular the black men,” he told reporters. “And I … want to urge all of you men who hear me to go and get your sons. I’m not bitter. I’m not upset. I’m saddened by what has taken place. But I’m also inspired. We have to make a change in this city.”