Students team up for back-to-school prayer vigil

Published 9:57 am Friday, July 31, 2015

A group of local students are organizing a back-to-school prayer vigil in response to the recent spike in violent crime.

Evangelist Pat Butler, of the Women of the Word Ministries and community columnist for The Daily Leader, said that Brookhaven High students Shametta and Jeffrey Johnson approached her with an interest in a prayer vigil as a way for the community to come together.

Butler said Lorenda Perkins Reese, who is the president of the Expressions of Praise Dance Ministry at Rhema Word Worship Church and a longtime friend of Butler, also expressed her concerns and the need for prayer for our schools and community.

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“By the children being concerned about this, it’s going to send a message to parents and religious organizations to see if we call all meet on common ground to see what the community can do [in response], Butler said.

From those concerns a citywide back to school prayer vigil was born, with the theme being “The Children Are Our Future.” The event is scheduled to take place Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln County Civic Center on Beltline Drive in Brookhaven.

Current sponsors for the event include the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors, Lincoln County Civic Center Manager Quinn Jordan, Minister Lorraine Ezell, Pastor Phillip Sterling of Grace Community Church, Walmart, Southern Office Supply, Cakes, Etc., Bible Way COGIC, Changing Lives Ministry, Butler and Reese.

Butler said since the initial launch of the event’s publicity, they’ve received interest from more individuals and organizations.

The young people from Rhema Word Worship Church who will be participating at the vigil are Angel Hayes, Zoe Hilliard, Sierra Edwards, Alarria Townsend, Iscah Rumble and Kristy Giddens.

Butler said organizers of the event want attendees to come away that night with the knowledge that “We are a community. We can come together, and we share that bond that we love our children. We want to let our children to know we can come together, and we can love each other.”

All churches, school administrators, ministers, pastors, and city and county officials are encouraged to attend in support of the youth.

“We just want our children to walk away with hope,” Butler said.

Door prizes will be given and refreshments will be served.

For more information, call Pat Butler at 601-754-1483.