Attendees sing a prayer during a vigil for Michael Brown at the Second Baptist Church on Nov. 8. The vigil was held in preparation of the grand jury's upcoming decision about taking the Michael Brown case to trial.   ¦  Lauren Kastner
Attendees sing a prayer during a vigil for Michael Brown at the Second Baptist Church on Nov. 8. The vigil was held in preparation of the grand jury’s upcoming decision about taking the Michael Brown case to trial. ¦ Lauren Kastner

COLUMBIA — Leaders of Columbia’s black and faith communities are organizing in anticipation of a grand jury decision in the case of Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson in August.

With a decision expected in days to come, leaders of several Columbia churches and NAACP Missouri plan to gather at Second Missionary Baptist Church, 407 E. Broadway, immediately following a decision.

The meeting will shape community response to the grand jury decision, Mary Ratliff, president of the Missouri NAACP, said. The NAACP holds its monthly meetings at Second Baptist, and gathering at the church during landmarks civil right events has become customary, she said.

Ratliff issued an open invitation for local organizations to gather at Second Baptist when the decision is announced.

“We want as many people from as many organizations to come as we plan how to move forward,” Ratliff said.

Local and national coverage of Ferguson depicts the city as “bracing” itself for the grand jury decision. Whatever the decision, it doesn’t make Ratliff nervous from an organizing perspective.

Written by: CAMERON DODD, ANNIE REES. JOHN SCHNELLER (Supervising editor) – continue at THE MISSOURIAN

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