Hatfield and McCoy church service sends message of peace and love

Published: Sep. 23, 2018 at 4:13 PM EDT
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Many people in Eastern Kentucky know the story behind the Hatfield and McCoy feud.

Sunday morning, multiple descendants from the feuding families came together for a church service.

The message? Peace and love.

Their rich history of lies and murder has transformed into love and peace.

"The Hatfields and the McCoys did such terrible things to each other 150 years ago," explained William Hatfield.

William Hatfield is the great-grandson of Devil Anse Hatfield.

A feud between the two families made a lasting impression on Eastern Kentucky history.

"I come here because I love my family heritage. I love the McCoys and I love the message of reconciliation that we have today," explained Hatfield.

Hatfield says the United States is in desperate need for compassion.

"Our nation is so divided. We're divided along gender. We're divided along all kinds of schisms and splits," Hatfield pointed out.

Ron McCoy is the great-great-great-grandson of Randolph McCoy. He says he agrees with Hatfield.

"People talk about you know if you don't know your history, you're kind of doomed to repeat it," said McCoy.

McCoy says learning from the past is important.

"If people can look to us as an example, it's a good thing," McCoy pointed out.

Hatfield says once his family started believing in God everything changed.

"The preacher that baptized him got to tell everyone 'I baptized the Devil last week'," laughed Hatfield.

After the feud, one thing is certain.

"The fact that we could come together and reconcile and forgive, everyone can do it."

Hatfield says Devil Anse carried a gun with him everywhere. Once he became a Christian, he began carrying a bible.

He says that changed his family history for the better.