Project Manager, Community Initiative to Reduce Violence
On some Caribbean island nation or in an African nation, and more recently on the streets of Canton or Alliance, the Rev. Walter Moss puts forth efforts to uplift mankind. Recently concluding his time with Canton Foursquare Church, Moss is project manager for the Stark County prosecutor’s Community Initiative to Reduce Violence program. As a nondenominational Christian minister, Moss abhors violence, particularly of the criminal nature.
Among Moss’ passions is trying to inspire at-risk youths in Stark County to avoid the pitfalls of gang and criminal activity.
“I believe that is kind of my calling—to reach and let them know someone cares about them,” Moss said. “I want them to know that they can make it.”
Moss’ work with the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence, or CIRV, involves him with the local criminal justice system. The program model is to reduce gang and street-level violence by coordinating efforts of law enforcement, the court system, social services and religious institutions.
Prior to Moss, CIRV was led by Bruce Allison, a retired Canton police captain.
“Not only do I think he will be good, Rev. Moss has taken CIRV to another level,” Allison said. “The wonderful thing about Rev. Moss is that he has always had a spirit of love for the community. I am thrilled that he is the CIRV director. CIRV saves lives. Someone is going to embrace the message.”
After graduating in 1973 from McKinley High School, Moss, 60, attended Ohio University. While in college, Moss’ leadership qualities emerged as he helped found the Gospel Voices of Faith student choir.
Moss also led a campus march in the late 1970s honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., years before the civil rights leader’s birthday became a national holiday.
In years past, Moss’ activities included occasional missionary trips.
“I work with various Christian organizations,” Moss said. “I believe the gospel brings peace. I was in Cuba two years ago. I usually go through Canada. I go to churches. Mainly we take in Bibles and supplies. We helped develop a couple Bible schools down there.”
Moss spent his childhood in southeast Canton. He was raised by a single mother. And church was part of his life then. But despite his present job in the secular world of criminal justice, the church remains a priority for Moss.
“My main mission here is trying to get the churches unified,” Moss said. “There is strength in numbers. We can minister stronger together than apart.”