From that evening, coordinated by Mt. Horeb Baptist Church and its pastor Joe Benberry, concerned citizens began coming together to see how they could fulfill the outpouring of need seen that night.
A step toward that will take place next week during the first Community Prayer Gathering, which will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Dorothy Miller Park.
“The format will be like the prayer gathering at Washington Park last fall,” said Lisa Bremer. “All believers of Jesus Christ are invited to unite in prayer for our community, country and world.”
Since that prayer vigil, monthly meetings involving community pastors, brought together by First Baptist Church pastor Joe Buchanan, have been held discussing “what were some of the things we could do to be of assistance to the community as a whole,” said Shawn Vandergriff, pastor of Weaver Creek Baptist Church.
Vandergriff later had a conversation with Benberry, telling him: “I think it’d be really good if we continued to have these prayer meetings at different parks. Metropolis is different than a lot of communities in the fact that it has so many parks. I think it’d really be good if we had this unified prayer at the different parks. Instead of making it a monthly prayer thing, make it a location-based prayer and have it where you go to the different locations.”
A few weeks ago, Vandergriff and Bremer presented the idea to the pastors group.
Vandergriff said the purpose of Community Prayer Gathering is to strengthen the community and believers through regular focus on prayer. The hope is it not only shows the power of prayer, but also allows residents to meet their neighbors — in and out of their actual neighborhoods.
“Prayer is not only powerful, but it also unifies people,” Vandergriff said. “It doesn’t take a lot of time to do but the affects of it are always very strong.”
Vandergriff said his idea is to move the gathering around to not only to the city’s 14 parks but also schools and other nature sites.
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