Gather for healing, strength: Community prayer service Thursday

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, February 28, 2023

People have donated so much clothing, shoes, and other items to victims of the Brookwood Apartment fire that no more can be accepted.

“We are having to close it down because the Brookhaven community has been so awesome with donating. It’s really something to see. But there is just no more room,” Emergency Management Director Chris Reid said Monday.

Gift cards can still be donated, however, so residents can purchase any needed item that was somehow missed. Those can be given to County Chancery Clerk Alisha McGehee, City Clerk Samantha Melancon, or Reid.

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But prayer is still needed, too.

Rev. Phillip Sterling, pastor of Grace Community Church, has asked anyone who will to come to the steps of the Lincoln County-Brookhaven Governmental Complex Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to join together in prayer for the individuals and families affected.

“Brookwood-Brookhaven Strong” is a “call to come together for healing and strength,” Sterling said. Prayer is needed because it’s one more way to offer support.

“It’s needed because this was so sudden and tragic. They were not sick, no one was expecting it, and no one was expecting that many people to be affected,” Sterling said. Sometimes, we don’t really get into praying for others until something shocks our system. This was a shock to our systems.”

Public prayer is a way for the community to show love publicly, offer support and heal together.

“We need to show some love. So many people have asked, ‘What can I do?’ ‘What can I offer?’ One of the strongest things you can offer is togetherness in prayer and let God handle the rest.”

The pastor said the outpouring of love through physical donations is “unreal” and demonstrates a lot of people care.

“Let’s pray together,” he said. “It’s good to grieve together and not just alone.”

If expected rain prevents the event from taking place outdoors, it will be moved to the Lincoln Civic Center.