The brazen 1992 crime at the Mattapan church, in which a teenager was stabbed nine times and a bullet fired into the crowded church, was a pivotal moment in the city’s history, setting in motion changes that are still felt today. It catalyzed a clergy that by its own admission had failed to grasp the dimensions of youth violence, sending preachers into the neighborhood to minister troubled adolescents. It gave youth workers and neighborhood activists renewed urgency in their fight to keep teenagers away from drugs and violence.
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