Community prayer service set for Monday

Published 11:53 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2009

VIDALIA — A local group is hoping to unify the community in prayer Monday.

At 7 p.m. Monday, local leaders and civil servants will gather together with Concordia Parish citizens at the Bryant O. Hammett Conference and Convention Center to pray for both the local area and the United States.

“It all started when a ministerial alliance of black ministers approached a ministerial alliance of white ministers and asked if they were willing to have a day of prayer for our nation,” said Gwen Peterson, who is helping organize the event.

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But those involved don’t want to limit the involvement to ministers.

“We are trying to get the whole parish involved, every level of administration, every level of society — we are trying to get everybody involved in trying to build some bridges,” Ferriday resident Liz Brooking said.

Now is the perfect time to bring the area together in prayer, Brooking said.

“We have had so much turmoil in Concordia Parish in the last year with our elections and other things like that, and this is a way to bring people back together again and think about what is important,” she said.

The meeting could also serve to remind everyone of their common goals, Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin said.

“We are not battling each other, but sometimes everybody is going in a different direction,” he said. “It’s not just for the betterment of our community, but for the betterment of our parish. It sure can’t hurt to pray for this area.”

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said he wanted to commend those who took it upon themselves to organize the effort.

“I think it will be a tremendous event,” Copeland said. “I think it is an excellent idea.”

All of the aldermen, police jury members, law enforcement, school board members and other elected officials in the parish have been invited to the event.

“If we have 100 people there, great, and if we have 500 people there, great, but I hope they all come with the same thing in mind — to move the parish forward,” McGlothin said.

The event will also serve to honor local civil and military servants for their work.

“We are trying to say, ‘We appreciate you police for standing in the way of bullets and thank you majors for making the money last,’” Peterson said.

The ceremony will include an honor guard and representatives from the American Legion.

“We have got quite a few older veterans — even one who is 90 — who are coming. I think it is going to be fantastic.”

Having all of the veterans present will maybe remind people of the importance of their service, Brooking said.

“Hopefully, it will help them understand what World War I, World War II, Vietnam and the other wars have affected the lives they are living today,” she said.