Church congregations gather for healing and unity worship service
By Caray Grace| August 8, 2016 at 1:38 AM CDT - Updated July 10 at 12:31 AM
Members of three different church congregations gathered in D'Iberville Sunday to sing, pray, and worship; all in an effort to unite the community.
"See, I believe God loves diversity and unity, don't you? I believe that God likes variety and diversity," said Rev. Len McRaney, pastor of Coalville United Methodist Church in Biloxi.
Members of Tabernacle Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs, and Coalville UMC attended the special community healing and worship service.
"Mississippi has been known for its racial segregation and brokenness, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the one thing that can heal that," said Scott Castleman, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs.
Castleman says the Holy Spirit put it on their hearts to organize the service.
"If reconciliation and racial harmony is gonna happen, it has to start with the church. The church is the one thing that has the answer for that, and his name is Jesus," said Castleman.
Along with their congregations, church leaders also invited local law enforcement officers. D'Iberville Chief of Police Wayne Payne delivered a moving speech about the need to fix community and law enforcement relations
"No one should die because they wear a badge, and no one should die because the color of their skin," said Payne.
As the service was coming to a close, attendees were asked to join hands with people from other churches and pray for unity, peace, and healing.
"Lord I pray that even as we hear this benediction in a little bit, God it wouldn't be the end, but Lord we would be your benediction. We would be your good word to the world," said Castleman.
Church leaders say it is only the beginning. They encouraged those in attendance to become friends and commune together outside of the church.