HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — A push to get more clergy members in the fight against gun violence is happening in Upper Manhattan.

Dozens of church leaders in Harlem came together on Thursday to tackle what’s been plaguing the streets in their communities. PIX11 News was the only station allowed inside a luncheon where the NYPD leaned on clergy members for help.

From the pulpit to the streets, these clergy members now have a different calling — one that will require all hands on deck.

NYPD Capt. Tarik Sheppard is the commanding officer of the 28th Precinct in Harlem. He’s sharing inside information with the clergy to make them aware of what’s driving some gun violence in the city. 

“They have the ear of a lot of people, so as many credible messengers we can get to be aware of what’s going on, we need to do so,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard played drill rap music videos to the clergy members. Drill rap music is fueling most of the city’s gang-related shootings, according to the NYPD.

Sheppard said the videos are a way for gang members to antagonize each other, and many parents have no idea that social media accounts have connected their kids to gangs. 

The clergy members who attended the luncheon were some of the most influential in the Black community.

Apostle Jimmie Jones of the United House of Prayer for All People said he is a community product. 

“To see the same things occurring like when I was a child growing up and not much has changed, that concerns me,” Jones said.

From here, clergy members will go back to their churches and look for warning signs, continue to support parents and grandparents and help them keep their children out of the clutches of gang members.