Desmon Gault led a group of nearly 200 people in prayer and a peaceful walk through the Loveland community

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (June 3, 2020) – Nearly 200 people joined Desmon Gault at the Prince of Peace Church parking lot for prayer followed by a walk through Loveland to show solidarity in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota Monday, May 25, at the hands of a police officer. 

Desmon Gault led people in prayer and a peace walk in Loveland , OH (Chuck Gibson) 

Tuesday, June 2, was the fourth consecutive night Gault has walked in response to what happened in Minneapolis, but also what is happening around the country. He walked by himself on Saturday – his wife had to take the kids to baseball practice.

 “We walked as a family Sunday, we walked as a family on Monday,” said Gault noting it grew to 35 people on Monday night. “It’s been a great response from the Loveland community today and how we’re coming together. It’s beautiful.”

Desmon Gault speaks to the group as they grew in number at Prince of Peace parking lot (Chuck Gibson)

The number of people that met up with Gault and his family on Tuesday in the Prince of Peace parking lot grew to a count of 195. He spoke to everyone about why they were there and encouraged them to acknowledge how they’ve personally experienced racism with a show of hands. Desmon Gault then led everyone in a prayer calling on the guidance of God, and the protection of God on their planned walk down W. Loveland Avenue, across Rich Road and making a stop at the driveway entrance to Loveland High School to pray for the schools, students, and families of Loveland.

 Prince of Peace Pastor Rev. Jonathan Eilert joined the group just as they began to depart on the planned peaceful walk. Loveland Mayor Kathy Bailey was in the crowd at the church with her daughter. They made the walk through Loveland with the group.

Rev. Jonathan Eilert, Pastor, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church joined the peace walk Tuesday, June 2 in Lovelnad (Chuck Gibson)

“It’s great,” said Eilert. “I think it is a beautiful idea. I think it is a positive way to address the crazy situation we’re facing right now in our country; the tinder box that’s exploded.”

“I heard the story and was struck by what an amazing man, amazing family this was,” said Bailey. “In the middle of all this turmoil; mess our country seems to be in, this seems like a way to show our solidarity as a community of all races. I did not want to miss the opportunity to be part of this.”

Eilert knows there are no easy solutions, but saw what Gault has started is certainly building up community here in Loveland.

 “Pray for God to be part of this,” Eilert said. “No better answer than trying to be part of that. I’m glad to be part of it.”

Kathy Bailey,(far right,) Loveland Mayor prays before walking with her daughter Tuesday evening (Chuck Gibson)

Likewise, Mayor Bailey expected to see a community trying to find a constructive way to show solidarity and was not disappointed in seeing “loving, caring, and kind people come together.

“I think it’s, in some ways, healing,” Bailey said. “I’m grateful we have someone like Desmon in our community that gave us all a way to do something about it.”

The people prayed and they walked peacefully. Not only that, but they showed respect to the others in the community; foot traffic and automotive traffic were not disrupted by Desmon Gault and those nearly 200 people who chose to walk with him Tuesday evening, June 2, in Loveland. 

He also took the time to share his story on the record with Loveland Beacon as we walked and talked together. What follows here is what Desmon Gault had to say – in his own words.

Loveland Beacon (LB) What is going on here?

Desmon Gault (DG)Last week George Floyd happened. It hit me hard, It hit me hard in my heart, it hit me hard in my mind. Because of the simple fact how many people from the black community are being killed. It disturbed me when it happened to George Floyd and how he died.

LB – What do you mean when you say how he died?

DG – He died a cruel death. He was suffocated, how the cop had his knee on his neck. He died. You hear the people screaming to the cop to get off his neck. The cop just didn’t have any remorse or anything like that (No mercy) That struck me hard. You know how social media is and social media doesn’t make it any better. Social media brings up all the other type things that happened to black people. All that weight, seeing that, being a black man myself all of that just hit me hard! It was real heavy, real heavy on my heart. I talked with my wife Brittany, she was equally upset with the incident that unfolded. She encouraged me. Her heart was heavy.

I thought, we’re in 2020, not the 1960’s and we’re still dealing with this racial mind set, this prejudice mind set. I sought counsel from spiritual leaders; my father, my mother, my wife – obviously – and my pastors, and also my oldest cousin. He told me ‘You can’t feed into the world. You are a child of God. You can be angry about it, but sin not.’ I think that registered Gold in My Heart! After I talked with them, I went to prayer. I asked God ‘What can I do?’ Some Christians talk it, but sometimes do not follow through, most of the time we do follow through. So I went to prayer and asked the Lord: ‘What can I do to be an ambassador for the Kingdom of You?’ He directed me to some scriptures. ‘Okay Lord, what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna walk. I’m gonna walk our Loveland community. I’m gonna pray for our Loveland community.’ So I did. Day two made up my mind to walk from church. Had watched church service on video from my church  – Grace Point Church of Cincinnati off North Bend Road. Walked with wife and kids, brother in law and his family. Nine people spreading love, spreading unity. Yesterday (Monday) it grew to 35 people, today I don’t know the number.

Last week it was like hate, bitterness, rage started to fill my heart. That’s when me and my wife and family talked She said ‘Babe you can’t have that.’ Once we had the spiritual talks, God put this into my soul and here we are!

That’s the story of Who, What, Where, When and Why from Desmon Gault in his own words. 

Desmon Gault lives in Loveland with his wife, Brittany, and their two children. He says they love the Loveland community and they are not going anywhere. It is their home. 

Desmon Gault leads group in prayer with his wife Brittany seen in the background holding a child. (Chuck Gibson) 

He also explained the personal experience of racism that stands out for him. It was 2007 on a date with Brittany (before they were married) coming back from Hillsboro, Ohio in the dark of night pulling onto the highway.

“Cop stopped me, another cop pulled in front of me with his lights right at me,” Gault explained. “He asked me to step out of the car said he saw my coming right at him on the highway. Told him no sir, I just got on the highway. He gave me breathalyzer, patted me down, they were all Caucasian. I was rattled.”

 Brittany knew what was going on. She was furious and told Gault he’d just been profiled. That stands out for him as an example of what is happening now in our country.  It all leads up to his prayer and his walks in Loveland. What did it feel like for him just walking alone on Saturday.

A couple final words from Desmon Gault before leading the group on a walk down W. Loveland Avenue (Chuck Gibson) 

“This may sound crazy,” said Gault. “I felt peace. I was just walking and I felt empowered. I was like one of those heavenly empowerments. I went on Facebook live and did a little encouragement piece. “

The walks grew, people waived and honked as they passed. His faith started to build. There have been no issues of violence, no need for any law enforcement. Gault says they are accomplishing exactly what they set out to do. That is unite as a people and come together as a community. He hopes to let people know they are tired of these incidents happening.

“We’re tired of dealing with stuff we’ve been dealing with for generation after generation after generation,” he said. “When our kids grow up, we’re looking for our kids to have the peace we’ve been longing for. It starts now!”

Nearly 200 peaceful marchers prayed for the students and schools with Desmon Gault on the driveway at Loveland High School Tuesday evening, June 2, in Loveland, OH (Chuck Gibson)

Rick Hogle with Desmon Gault tired of not being able to breathe (Chuck Gibson) 

Gault says he doesn’t know what will come from this. He wasn’t looking for anything of the magnitude this has become. He plans to walk again tonight, Wednesday evening, June 3rd, with plans to watch the weather before deciding on Thursday and Friday plans. He expresses clearly his faith in God and “zero fear” of any type of problems like those in other areas where violence and arrests occurred. 

“I was just trying to please God,” Gault said. “It’s all the Glory to God.”

Gault’s message is that simple. To him, this is a God situation ordained by God for the people who he believes were called to this moment by God. 

His message to those who would cause trouble: “They don’t have to deal with us, they have to deal with God” 

His message to all who have joined in prayer and the walk:

“To God be the glory,” said Gault. “Maybe God called the people who have dealt with this in their heart, who dealt with this in their mind, to stand up and let their voices be heard to inspire someone else. That’s all I got. To God be the Glory.”

Desmon Gault plans to lead a group in prayer and a peaceful walk through Loveland again Wednesday evening from Prince of Peace parking lot meeting at about 5:45 p.m. if you want to join in.