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When a community comes together in prayer

Pastors from several Walterboro-area churches asked the community and their parishioners to come together last week in a public prayer vigil, with pastors focusing on healing and pleading for the violence in the community to stop.
The vigil was held in Pinckney Park in Walterboro on Thursday, March 28th in memory of RaNiya Wright, the 5th-grade student from Forest Hills Elementary School who died following a fight at her school.
The criminal investigation into the girl’s death is still ongoing, with leaders from both the Colleton County School District and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office staying mum on details until the investigation is complete.
About 250 people from the Colleton community attended Thursday’s public prayer vigil.
During the emotional vigil, community members held hands and some pastors stayed on their knees, praying fervently for healing and growth.
“If we can come together as one, we can be effective,” Rev. Eric J. Campbell said, speaking to The State Newspaper. Campbell is a community activist and is one of about 10 pastors who attended the prayer vigil.
“We can’t be effective if we’re always divided. That’s always been a problem,” he said.
The pray vigil was meant to bring the community together, as hostility grows from some community members about the lack of answers being provided by the Colleton County School District. District officials say they are working with law enforcement officers as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into Wright’s death.
While speaking to the community in a prayer, Walterboro pastor and community chaplain Zane Brown asked those at the vigil to reflect upon themselves to determine the source for violence happening in Walterboro.
“This is our fault,” Brown said, publicly. “This is the fault of the people of God not being the people of God.”
Both Brown and Campbell also prayed for comfort for the girl’s family and for the family of the other student involved in the fight. That student’s identity is being withheld, as she is a minor.
That student has been suspended, and will remain suspended until the law enforcement investigation into Wright’s death is complete, said Sean Gruber, district spokesman.

Heather Walters (1477 Posts)