Prayer gathering seeks peace amid shootings

by Wes Mayer

alt

Members of the community praised God as Ezra Dennis, in blue, prays at First Avenue Park in Newnan. 


More than 60 members of the community gathered at Newnan’s First Avenue Park Tuesday evening for a prayer service in the wake of recent shootings.

They gathered to pray and petition God to end the violence in Newnan.

The service, hosted by pastors Dana and Jesse Roberson with Healing Waters Outreach Ministry, was organized to bring the community together and pray for the numerous victims of gun violence within the last two weeks. Local evangelists Ezra Dennis, Tonya Epps and Tanzela Reese and pastors Deborah Sheppard, Brenda Clark and Patrick James also prayed at the service as everyone in attendance walked the grounds, huddled together and praised God.

“We are asking God to heal this land tonight,” Jesse Roberson said to begin the service. “Go to God the way that you know how. This is about God being glorified.”

The service began around 7 p.m., continued until around 8:15, and as the service progressed, more and more families arrived. Each person who prayed brought their own message and style of praise to the park as they pleaded for an end to the violence.

“In spite of what we’re going through, God, we have come to praise you,” Dennis said.

“There are people out there who are hurting, Lord God,” Epps said in prayer. “We’ve had enough of the death, the violence, our young people in jail. Let no more vengeance be taken on our own behalf.”

Reese prayed for God to send his angels down and protect the city and this generation. She also prayed for Him to let families stop worrying about their children, and let wives stop worrying about their husbands.

During the service, everyone prayed for God to take the city back, put the city back in order, and for God to enter the hearts and minds of everyone hurting. They also prayed for the victims of the recent violence, their families and the families of those who did the shootings.

“I thank God that the blood is already dried up in Coweta County,” Sheppard said during her prayer.

Members also prayed for Tuesday’s service to not be the last. They prayed for the community to come together in unity and to break the segregation which occurs on Sunday – when members of different religious beliefs and faiths choose not to pray together. They also prayed to spread the word of God to the areas of Newnan that need it most.

“One can chase a thousand,” James said. “The scripture says two can put two thousand to flight.”

To end the service, five younger members of the community, all girls, performed a dance called “Young Peoples’ Cry.” The girls’ dance was choreographed to music and had everyone in attendance praising God for the younger generation growing up in the county.

“You’ve got the power because Jesus gave it to you,” Clark said. “It is up to you with what you do with the power.”



More Local

UPDATE: 20-year-old no longer missing

UPDATE: Ryan White has made contact with his family and is safe, according to Investigator Donnie Payne with the Coweta County Sheriff's Off ... Read More


Mayor's Luncheon

Ga. State professor shares insights on economy

The days of using unemployment rates as an indicator of good economic health are long gone, according to Rajeev Dhawan, director and profess ... Read More


Bomb Threat

Northgate students evacuated

Northgate High School was evacuated early Wednesday because of a bomb threat against the school. At 10:21 a.m., NGHS administrators received ... Read More


Newnan Council

Ground floor residences OK’d for downtown

Ground level residences are now allowed in certain areas of downtown Newnan. Newnan City Council approved the change, allowing this special ... Read More


Public Safety Complex

Ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday

The city of Newnan is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new public safety complex on Friday at 11 a.m. The new complex will house th ... Read More

No injuries in apartment shooting

Newnan police are still investigating a shooting that occurred at the Pines by the Creek apartment complex early Sunday morning. About 12:20 ... Read More