March 24, 2003 at 3:36 PM CST - Updated August 26 at 11:25 PM
When the doors of churches in the Ark-La-Tex opened for Sunday services, many prayers went up for the men and women a half a world away. With patriotic music,words from the bible,and prayer... people across the Ark-La-Tex worshipped on the first Sunday with America at war. At Summer Grove Baptist Church the saints have been praying since Operation Iraqi Freedom began...and they haven't stopped yet. Jay Bass, Summer Grove Baptist Church: "I got a couple of friends that are over there. They're in the Navy so I pray for them everyday that they come back safe." Nearly one hundred people are deployed from Summer Grove. Pastor Rod Masteller, Summer Grove Baptist Church: "I'm just trying to challenge the people to support our troops. I think now is not the time to protest. Now is the time to pray and to stand with our country and our president." At St. John Berchmans Cathedral...parishioners prayed for peace...as they've been doing since before the bombing began. Father Joseph Ampatt, St. John Berchmans Cathedral: "We do pray that this conflict will come to an end peacefully soon so that people who are affected by it may get the relief of god and peace of God." Nordia Higgins, Reporting: "Folks around here say with our troops putting their lives on the line to protect our freedom they feel the need to do something...and something they can do is pray." Mary Thornton, St. John Berchmans Cathedral: "I do pray more, especially during the newscasts when things are upsetting, I stop and pray right then." Ealie Thornton, St. John Berchmans Cathedral: "I pray every opportunity that I can especially when I come to mass and when you think about what the country is going through now, I really pray." M ost churches list deployed church members in their bulletins and urge members to pray for those deployed and their families.