Songs of hope and prayers for the future were top of mind for the community at the Chattanooga Inaugural Prayer Breakfast.
"If the neighborhoods and the people out here see all of us come together and starting in prayer, a lot of the times that I can solve the problems that are out there on the streets," said Jeffery Evans.
That's why Evans attend the service, he lives in East Chattanooga and wants to let the newly elected council and Mayor Andy Berke know about his concerns.
"Gang members are reaching them in elementary now, so if we can reach them in elementary and not only that the ones that are out there committing the crimes, find them an avenue to get them out of the gangs,” Evans said.
Channel 3 brought his concerns about senseless violence to Mayor Andy Berke, who is now entering his second term.
"We got to invest in people because by the time people get a gun in their hands and they're looking to do violence, that's awfully too late in the process to derail them, we got to make sure people are on the right track as well,” Berke explained.
Over the years Evans said previous city officials have made progress, but he wants to see more done in communities like East Chattanooga.
"We still don’t have a grocery store, we are still considered a dry desert up in that area. We need a lot of work done in the streets,” he explained.
As Mayor Berke ends his first term and begins his second, he says plans to focus on how to build Chattanooga.
"That doesn't just mean the physical spaces in the parks and buildings. That means how do we build each other and invest in our people so that we grow a great city,” Berke explained.
More than a dozen faith leaders in the Scenic City attended the breakfast, all from different backgrounds, but united by faith and love for their city.
“By us starting a new city council, we need to pray for our elected officials, that they meet the goals of the people,” Evans said.