Prayer vigil Wednesday

Published 1:10 am Tuesday, July 12, 2016


A citywide prayer vigil is set for 6 p.m. this Wed., July 13, in Andalusia’s City Hall Auditorium.

The event is being planned in the wake of recent violence across the nation, including the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot by police officers outside a convenience story in Baton Rouge, La., last Tuesday; the death of Philando Castile Wednesday in Minnesota, who was shot by a police officer; and the deaths of five officers last Thursday in Dallas at the hand of a gunman who also wounded nine others, and said he was reacting to the previous deaths last week.

Yesterday, in an apparently unrelated event in Michigan, two court bailiffs were killed and a deputy was injured after an inmate grabbed an officer’s gun outside a holding cell. Officers also shot and killed the suspect in that case.

The Rev. Darryl Calloway, pastor of Whatley Street First Baptist Church, said the event will be similar to one last summer following the deaths of nine church members at the hand of a white gunman attending a prayer service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

“This is because all lives matter,” Calloway said of Wednesday’s service. “We as Christians have to become prayerful. We believe in the power of prayer to heal because the Bible says, ‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’

Calloway said the service will include music, a time of prayer, and the lighting of candles in memory of the fallen.

“We’ll also have the Pledge of Allegiance because we are one people, under God,” he said.

“We know that ‘If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.’ ”

Calloway, who hosted a prayer breakfast attended by about 15 spiritual and community leaders at his church Friday morning, said the service is a way to be proactive.

“We want people in our community to know officers, and to feel comfortable with them,” he said.

The service will be informal, and he encouraged area residents to “come as you are.”