FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 28, 2021
“A Man, A Cross, and a Cause.”
For three years now, on the first weekend of October, you might have seen the man carrying the cross through Wilson County. This man is Pastor David Ashley.
You might have noticed the replica of Jesus’ cross has purple and black ribbons. The purple ribbons on the cross represent victims of domestic violence, and the black ribbons represent the domestic homicide victims killed in the state of Tennessee.
In 2020, Tennessee reported nearly 70,000 domestic-related offenses and 94 domestic homicides, up from 85 the previous year (TBI).
As the national spotlight shines down on domestic violence victims like Gabby Petito – it is important to note that in every community, every church, every school, and every home in Wilson County and beyond: 1 in every 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner (CDC). 1 in every 5 high school students report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner (CDC), 57% of college students stated that domestic violence is “hard to identify,” even though 43% have reported violent dating behaviors and 16% have been sexually assaulted (Fifth & Pacific, et al).
Wilson county does not have a shelter for either men or women. Additionally, the resources for male victims of abuse are scarce – nationwide. In Tennessee, 28% of victims were male.
Furthermore, domestic violence is the most dangerous call for police officers to answer. Rest in peace Deputy Locke.
Cross Strength Ministries and its subsidiary, R3 (Redemption. Restoration. Recovery.) Domestic Violence Services seeks to bring awareness – and solutions to this persistent, dangerous, and deadly issue.
Pastor David Ashley, also known as “The Pastor of Pump,” Carries the Cross for Redemption” each year to raise awareness and honor the victims of domestic violence.
Pastor David Ashley and his wife Holly have a combined 50 years of experience working with men, women, families, churches, and communities that have been affected by violence.
Their ministry includes opening a discipleship training center and domestic violence shelters here in Wilson County, where they will offer their Christ-centered, Scripture-saturated, and state-certified faith and fitness programming for domestic violence victims and offender treatment programs, community education, and family faith and fitness discipleship programming.
Cross Strength Ministries also has prevention, intervention, and support services available to our brave law enforcement officials to provide domestic violence follow up services that deliver on-site and follow up assessments and evaluations, safety planning, alternative/emergency housing options, mental health, substance use/abuse resources, etc. But also to provide ongoing, time-sensitive case management to both the victim and offender that will reduce the escalation of violence that increases risk to responding officers and violence towards victims, children, and pets. But also to reduce recidivism – and most importantly, prevent domestic homicide.
The reality is that mere men, whoever they are, do not have the power or the strength to change anyone – no matter how big their biceps are. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that a heart can be changed.
Although his undergraduate work is in exercise science, Pastor Ashley is an ordained pastor who holds a Masters in Apologetics and a Masters of Divinity and is on a mission to disciple and train men and women for Biblical manhood and womanhood- because Biblical men and women know that “True Strength is found at the foot of the cross.”
And America needs more Biblical men and women.
If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, you can add a ribbon in their honor to the cross. Go to www.CrossStrengthMinistries.org to purchase a ribbon. And be sure to watch for this annual event, taking place on October 2ndand 3rd in Wilson County. Please note: There is NO FEE for victims of domestic abuse who would like to be honored with a ribbon – Please email Holly T. Ashley directly at: info@CrossStrengthMinistries.org.
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For more information, contact Holly T. Ashley at:
Please Note: (The R3 website – Redemption3.com – is being overhauled with new security protocols, victim resources, offender treatment forms, and up-to-date research)
Holly T. Ashley holds a Master's in forensic psychology and is a published author and researcher with over 35 years of domestic violence field experience.
Cross Strength Ministries is a 501c3, non-profit, Christ-centered, Biblically Sound, tax-exempt organization.
On the first weekend of October, David Ashley aka: The Pastor of Pump, takes up the cross of DV & traverses 50 mi. through Wilson Co, TN. to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month & is specifically to raise awareness about abuse & raise funds for victims and their families in Wilson County.