South Mississippians reflect on Charleston mass shooting and pra - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippians reflect on Charleston mass shooting and pray for peace

Photo Source: WLOX News Photo Source: WLOX News
Photo Source: WLOX News Photo Source: WLOX News
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -  The Charleston mass shooting was on the hearts and minds of thousands of south Mississippians, as they returned to church, praying for peace and unity in their communities and around the country. 

The First Missionary Baptist Church in Biloxi, one of the oldest ministries on the coast is hundreds of miles of away from Charleston, South Carolina. The distance didn't stop Pastor Eric Dickey from offering words of comfort Sunday to the city and its citizens after nine African Americans were gunned down during a Wednesday night prayer meeting at church.

“We join in the pain, we join in the grief and the sorrow that goes with taking human life,” Pastor Eric Dickey said.

This was the first time many south Mississippi parishioners return to service since the mass shooting, knowing that the tragedy could have very well happened here.

“I came today because I still love the church and I have faith in God.  I know that the devil is busy and that was a thing of devil,” parishioner Omera Tatum said.

Dickey encouraged the church Sunday not to carry a spirit of hate or fear, but to arm themselves with a weapon of love.

“In the midst of adversity and all the pains and problems of our evil society, learn how to turn your cheek and forgive,” Dickey said.

Over at Law of Life Ministries in Escatawpa, the pastor also reflected on the shootings and prayed for his congregation and church leaders.

“We want to pray for pastors all across America that they will see this situation the right way. That we will not walk in fear and that we will not walk in retaliation,” said Apostle Mardia Scott.

Apostle Scott told the crowd not to allow the senseless violence make them walk in worry.

“We are living in some dangerous times. As Christians, this world is not our home, so we have to understand we have an assignment to carry out,” said Scott.

Parishioners at both churches said they'll pray, continue to promote peace and keep worshiping in the house of Lord.

“This is my heritage, I was born in church and I have no fear and I will not have any fear. I don't think we should let one incident detour us from what is right,” said parishioner Stephanie Binder.

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