Pastor locks himself in prayer room until crime gets better

Bishop Dwight Pate with Church Point Ministries in north Baton Rouge has locked himself in the prayer room since the beginning of May. (Source: WAFB)
Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 5:39 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2023 at 6:22 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Crime in Baton Rouge has dominated conversations around the Capitol city since the start of the pandemic. One local pastor hopes through the power of prayer the city can be healed.

Bishop Dwight Pate with Church Point Ministries in North Baton Rouge originally opened the prayer room in the 90′s when crime and drugs were bad then, and now hopes for another miracle this time. He’s locked himself in his prayer room since the beginning of May praying for God to heal the city and bring crime down.

“And the only place it can be solved is in the church. And the teaching and the loving of God’s people. So, I believe that prayer can change the hearts of the individuals that’s creating all the violence in town,” said Bishop Pate.

What started as a used car lot that he purchased in 1981 now stands as the center point of his mission. The 68-year-old pastor first opened it in 1994 where he stayed locked away for nearly eight months. It was there where folks were free to come and receive holy oil. He opened it again in 2000 for five months to identify the pain and suffering of the elderly. And now it’s open yet again.

“Our spirit of peace can spread all over Baton Rouge and create a new standard of what I call righteousness and brotherly love. Because we are our brother’s keeper,” added Pate.

Instead of praying with folks right away, he decided instead to preach to 50 empty chairs. Those chairs quickly filled up with people looking to get away from drugs and prostitution.

“I used to put 50 empty chairs out here on the lot and preach to the empty chairs all day long until it became one of the major outreaches in this city. And people are coming right off the street from down there and come up in here and be delivered from drugs, alcohol, marriage problems, sickness,” Pate continued.

Bishop Pate said if he has learned anything in his 44 years of ministry, it’s that God works in mysterious ways.

“There’s going to be such a move of God among people. There’s going to be such a move of some of the most violent people in this city instead of going out killing, robbing and hurting people bringing peace and joy and victory and forgiveness and love that you’re going to have to come out and report it,” Pate explained.

He plans to distribute 200,000 bottles of holy oil to folks around the city. As for when he plans to leave the prayer house, he says it is up to God.

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