Meridian churches offer support
GOD BLESS AMERICA Helen Shannon joined in prayer and song as part of Friday's national prayer service. Photo by Marianne Todd/ The Meridian Star.
By Ida Brown/The Meridian Star
Sept. 15, 2001
Shortly after learning about terrorist attacks of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on Tuesday, the staff at First Baptist Church in Meridian immediately readied for "battle."
First Baptist's pastor, the Rev. Raymon Leake, called for the church's sanctuary to be opened for public assembly. And the staff contacted the local media to "get the word out."
It was a battle call not for violence, but against evil. And those gathered were arming themselves with the power of prayer.
The prayer service mirrored thousands of similar ones held nationwide that day in response to one of the country's darkest hours.
America is a nation built on faith and during times of crisis, its people come together for strength and guidance.
And the prayer vigils have continued. The day after the attack, attendance increased at regularly scheduled Wednesday night prayer services, with many churches holding special services.
President Bush called for a national day of remembrance for the victims of the terrorist attacks on Friday. At noon, many local residents gathered at First Baptist Church for a citywide service. And later that day, a citywide evening of prayer took place at City Hall.
Sunday morning worship service will be another time of coming together in prayer. And without a doubt, the morning message will be centered on the week's events.
A silver lining
Although exact numbers are not available, thousands of lives were lost in the attacks, and countless people were injured. And the numbers of those directly affected family members, friends and loved ones are more than can be imagined.
As one Scripps Howard News reporter stated, "Life will never be the same … Life will go on. Life must go on. But life will never be the same."
Where trust, freedom and safety were somewhat self-assured, we now are uncertain even helpless.
But from every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. The individuals sacrificed in a defiant act did not lose their lives for naught. They are a constant reminder of who we are one nation under God.