LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - He's committed his life's work to cleaning up some of Louisville's most crime-ridden communities. Now, Bishop Dennis Lyons has one of those streets named after him.
The new Bishop Dennis Lyons Way sits at the intersection of Vermont and Louis Coleman Junior Drive. Bishop Lyons said that's very fitting because Coleman has always been a huge source of inspiration for him and a mentor. He said he's just trying to continue the work he started all those years ago.
Dozens of Bishop Lyons' family, friends, and supporters came out to honor him Sunday afternoon.
“I’m going to be right by his side while he’s working until Jesus comes and gets me,” Shirley Fishback said.
Louisville Metro Council announced the special designation in August, and several members were on hand Sunday to give the official proclamation. The sign sits right next to a building that's very significant to Bishop Lyons. 15 years ago, he said it was a notorious drug house that made this corner among the most dangerous in the city. He partnered with local law enforcement to turn the property into a police substation. Bishop Lyons worked with several other church leaders to monitor potential trouble spots. Slowly, but surely, he said that area made a major turnaround.
“We changed this corner from being a crime-ridden corner to a corner of safety. We went 13 years without a murder, and this was the worst corner in the city of Louisville about 15 years ago,” Bishop Lyons said.
The new sign is also just down the block from the Gospel Missionary Church Bishop Lyons helps run. He said seeing the street he's spent so much time revitalizing renamed in his honor makes him feel like his message is finally getting spread to those who need it most.
“Let the community and the clergy monitor the community, maintain the community, motivate and minister to the community,” Bishop Lyons said. “The police and the people came together as one in partnership.”
Major Jimmy Harper with the 2nd Division is a longtime friend of Bishop Lyons. He spoke at Sunday’s ceremony about how much of positive difference the local clergy makes in the neighborhood. He said it's been four weeks since there was a homicide there. Earlier in the summer, they went seven weeks without one.
On Thursday, Bishop Lyons and about 50 other local clergy members will hold a special meeting.
“It will be a team of clergy from all over the city that have united together to be a part of the solution of the murder and the crime,” Bishop Lyons said. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
WHEN: Thursday, September 22
WHERE: Hewlett Temple Church at 21st and Jefferson
TIME: 6:00 P.M.