Levittown Church Erects T-Shirt Gun Violence Memorial Display

A t-shirt display out front of The United Christian Church on New Falls Road. Photo by Rick Rickman.

A local church in Levittown has set up a display memorializing victims of gun violence in Bucks County. The United Christian Church on New Falls Road near Hood Boulevard is a self-described Progressive Faith Community, and has set up almost 40 t-shirts on posts out front.

Danny DeGennaro in 2011. Jimi Patrick in 2017. Jamar Tucker in 2019. The shirts each stand for one victim of gun violence in Bucks County in recent years.

Heeding God's Call to End Gun Violence
T-shirts stand in light snow with the names of homicide victims. Photo taken Dec. 19, 2019.

One church member, Cathy, helped to organize the memorial with Heeding God’s Call. The group started in Philadelphia, rallying against a gun store with a knack for selling firearms which later turned up at crime scenes.

Less than a year later, and with some pressure from federal authorities, the shop owner lost his license and the store closed its doors.

Bryan Miller co-founded Heeding God’s Call in 2009. In the past decade, it has grown to the surrounding areas including South Jersey, the D.C. area, and of course, Bucks County.

Miller referred to the display on New Falls Road as a “Memorial to the Lost.” The shirts are designed to be colorful, appealing, and inspiring.

“We’re faith based, so we do our outreach and most of our closest partnering with faith communities,” Miller said. “We’re interfaith, so that can mean Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, and Muslim mosques.”

Heeding God’s Call also does work with secular groups like Orange Wave in Bucks County.

The t-shirt display at the United Christian Church also has information available on a double-sided paper. Partially serving as a call to action, it calls on people to help end the practice of “straw purchasing.”

“Straw purchasing is when a person buys a gun – or many guns – for resale to people who cannot legally buy weapons for themselves because they have a criminal record, certain domestic violence or mental illness issues, or because they’re not old enough to buy them,” it states.

Anyone hoping to reach Heeding God’s Call can email them at contactheeding@gmail.com or call 251-238-8550.