Community gathers to pray for unity, safety for first responders

by / 0 Comments / 71 View / August 1, 2016

By Lindsay Starr Platt

Monday morning a large crowd gathered at the Belton Police Memorial for a morning vigil to pray for unity and for the safety of first responders. Following a series of events that have happened across the nation Belton residents, city and religious leaders convened to show their support for law enforcement.
“I want to extend a warm welcome to the city of Belton. This is not an event but a movement and a gathering of the people of faith within the city of Belton and the region to pray for the fallen their family and friends, law enforcement, city council, mayor, city manager, police chief, fire chief and the citizens of Belton,” said Pastor Alton Mcallister. “We are in a precarious time in this nation, where there is unrest all around us. We have come to ask for God’s help and to honor the fallen of this nation. We thank the lord for the city of Belton, of what you established here. A city between two larger cities. A place of refuge and a city of healing.”
Eddrea Philemon performed an acapella vocal rendition of “God of this City” for the event. When the sound system went out, she found herself singing with backup from attendees as they sang the chorus, “For greater things have yet to come. And greater things are still to be done in this city. Greater things have yet to come. And greater things are still to be done in this city.”
Local religious leaders were invited to lead in various prayers at the vigil. Pastor Matt Thrasher prayed for our community. Reverend Eddie Ross prayed for unity. Pastor Andy Davis prayed for revival. Pastor Johner Martin prayed for God’s peace and calm to replace fear and anger.
“We pray for the first responders of this city, of this country, for this region, this nation and for all countries around the world. Lord, as they run toward the sounds of gunfire, towards the accidents, toward the tragedies, toward the things that most run away from. Lord, please steady their hearts, steady their minds, bring the calm and the peace of god to their hearts.” said McAllister.
Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis gave updates on the city’s police activities. Ellis also thanked the community and those that came forward in recent weeks and brought food and other tokens of appreciation to the police station.
“I think it shows how blessed we are to serve in a community like this,” said Ellis.
A few tears were shed by attendees, but those tears were not overshadowed by the smiles that were given. Belton residents showed their content and respect for our local law enforcement and let them know they will stand by their side.
“I was glad everyone came here together. Belton always seems like a good close-knit community,” said Roxanne Sanders, Belton resident. “We pray every day that our first responders are here for us. Now we are here for them and that they may heal.”