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Lansing pastors, church members gather for prayer

by Ashlee De Wit

LANSING, Ill. (June 1, 2020) — Lansing pastors and church members across denominations gathered at Grace Church (2740 Indiana Avenue) on Monday afternoon in an hour of prayer for the country and the local community, a day after the Village of Lansing encouraged residents to remain home amid reports of looters and other unrest in the area.

Pastor Leroy Childress of Grace Church posted the open call to other local pastors on Facebook Sunday evening: “After spending some time in prayer and driving through Lansing just now, I am feeling very led to pray together. I am asking all pastors to come together tomorrow for a time of prayer at 1 p.m.”

More than 30 people showed up, representing many different churches and other Christian organizations in and near Lansing.

More than 30 people gathered for a socially distant, informal prayer meeting at Grace Church on Monday. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)
Pastor Leroy Childress, second from left, acknowledged the pain and hurt experienced by so many, and asked the church to step up and work toward healing and peace. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)

“We know that God is all about relationships—first with him, and then with others,” Childress said to those gathered. “Those relationships are broken down…there’s hurt and there’s pain.

“We want to boldly say to God, ‘Move within our city.’”

The group practiced social distancing as they took turns offering prayers. They prayed for humility and compassion; they prayed for those experiencing the pain of racism and asked God to remove racism from churches. They prayed for the leaders of the country, state, and cities, and for those who are protectors. They thanked God for his faithfulness, and repented of ignorance. They prayed for forgiveness. They prayed for peace.

Rev. David Bigsby of In The Upper Room Ministries (left) takes a turn offering prayer. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)

They also prayed for wisdom and guidance as each person would return to his or her own church, looking for the next steps they could take to bring about the peace and healing they had asked for.

“We’re in this village together, and we need to come together and call on our one true God,” Childress said.

There was some discussion after the meeting about hosting an interactive, online panel in the future, but no details have been set.

Churches and organizations represented at the informal meeting included Anthem Church (Hammond), Bethel Church, Cornerstone Church, First Church PCA, Grace Church, In The Upper Room Ministries, Lansing Bible Church, Lansing Assembly of God, Living Word Church, New Hope Church, Oak Glen United Reformed Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Bible League International (Crete), and Lansing Christian School.

Representatives of various local churches and organizations responded to Pastor Leroy Childress’s invitation to prayer. (Photo: Ashlee De Wit)
Ashlee De Wit
Ashlee De Wit
Ashlee De Wit is a freelance writer and a Lansing native. After starting her career covering high school sports in Iowa, she's excited to be back in her hometown, reporting the stories of her local community — such as the opening of Troost, the informal Lansing pickleball club, a TF South Homecoming game, and Common Ground, Lansing's experiment with healthy race relations.


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