More than a dozen churches across Terrell held a day-long prayer vigil Friday to help people make sense of the recent tragedies in their county.
"With all the shootings and the killings and all of the fear and the grief that's been going on, I had been thinking about, maybe we should be reaching out to our community and offering them a place to come where they can get mutual support, where they can pray for our officials," said Mother Diana Freeman, a priest at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Terrell.
Mother Diana received an email from an 18-year-old churchmenber shortly after Mike and Cynthia McLelland were killed that helped her know something needed to be done for community members.
"I just kept having this strange gnawing feeling from the Spirit, I think, just saying, 'You've got to do something, you've got to do something. People need to know God's still in this,'" said Shelby Nowland, a senior at Poetry Community Christian School near Terrell.
And so, the Terrell Ministerial Alliance decided Friday would be a day of prayer. Church doors stayed open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for people to gather to pray, to write notes of encouragement and even drop off prayer squares for Kaufman County officials.
A closing vigil was held at the McLelland's church, the First Methodist Church of Terrell, later Friday evening.
"We're praying, first of all, for those who grieve, for those who have had losses because of the shootings," Freeman said. "We're praying for our government officials, our law enforcement officers, our judges, our DAs, all of those who have been - who work in Kaufman County, particularly the Kaufman County courthouse who experienced this up close and personal."
"This is our county. These are our churchmembers. These are our friends and family that are involved and government officials that are now in danger," Nowland said. "And we need to remember that, you know, the One that ultimately holds all things and holds the future is God."
"As Christians, we're resurrection people. We believe that God takes all of our life, even the bad parts, and can use it to His glory, for our good and to His glory," Freeman said. "That when we encounter a situation that we don't understand, we always have to remember that this is not the end, that there is more to it than that, that God can use it."
Other churches in Kaufman and Forney also took part in Friday's Open Doors Prayer Vigil.
A prayer walk around the Kaufman County Courthouse will also be held Sunday afternoon, April 14.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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