Mission Mississippi offers prayers, walk for unity

Published 11:57 am Saturday, July 4, 2020

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NATCHEZ — Approximately 50 people gathered on the steps of the Adams County Courthouse at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on the Fourth of July for a Mission Mississippi Prayer Gathering and Unity Walk.

Saturday’s gathering was organized by event co-chairmen the Rev. John W. Scott Jr. of Christian Hope Baptist Church and the Rev. Dennis Flach of the Baptist Theological Seminary of Jackson and Natchez.

Mission Mississippi was founded more than 27 years ago to promote racial reconciliation by bringing people together to build relationships across racial lines so they can work together to better their communities, according to the organization.

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The organization’s mission is “to encourage and demonstrate grace in the Body of Christ across racial lines so that communities throughout Mississippi can see practical evidence of the Gospel message.”

The Rev. Clifton Marvel, pastor of the Greater Macedonia Baptist Church, who participated in Saturday’s event, said the purpose was “to reassemble ourselves community wise for prayer on behalf of the state and the whole nation. During a pandemic situation, prayer is never a bad idea, so we just have to activate prayer.”

Ten area pastors took part in offering prayers and a song during the 45-minute long event under the shade of the courthouse portico and trees on the courthouse lawn.

Flach offered a welcome before Bishop Robert Cade and Dr. Betty Cade of Word Faith Ambassador Worship Center of Natchez offered prayers.

The Rev. Cantrell Smith of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church sang “America,” the Rev. Douglas Logan of Mount Olive Baptist Church prayed for leaders of the community, state and nation.

The Rev. Bo Swilley of Community Chapel prayed for racial harmony.

The Rev. David O’Conner prayed for the nation, and Marvel prayed for the state.

The Rev. Joan Gandy, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, prayed for the local community.

After Gandy’s prayer the assembled group walked around the perimeter of the courthouse in a unity walk.

Upon return to the starting point Scott offered closing remarks and thanked everyone for coming to the event.