07/24/09 — Unity Prayer Walk planned for Saturday

View Archive

Unity Prayer Walk planned for Saturday

By Laura Collins
Published in News on July 24, 2009 1:46 PM

More than 30 area churches and organizations are expected to take to the streets Saturday for the third annual Unity Prayer Walk.

The walk is organized by Stop the Funeral Initiative, an effort of Rebuilding Broken Places Community Development Corp.

The Rev. William Barber II, co-convener of Stop the Funeral and state president of the NAACP, said the walk is a time for the community to walk in hope, faith and prayer.

"It is part of or annual effort to draw attention to the need for people to live rather than die, to choose hope rather than dope and to believe in their dreams rather than give in to gang banging and drug dealing," Barber said.

People are asked to begin gathering at the First African Baptist Church parking lot, 803 Harris St., around 7:30 a.m. Barber suggests wearing bright clothes and bringing water.

The group will depart from the church at 8 a.m., walk from the church to Lincoln Homes, then return to the church. After the walk, there will be speakers at the church sharing their testimonies.

Francine Smith, program manager of Rebuilding Broken Places CDC, said she expects anywhere from 300-700 people at the walk. She said the walk is an effort to get out the message of redemption.

"We believe it's important for us to go into the community because the message of redemption isn't just for the church, it's for everyone," she said. "Jesus Christ died to redeem us. The message we want our audience to hear is that right now you are in a place that's rough that you may not want to be, but you can get out."

Although 8 a.m. might be too early for gang members and drug dealers, Mrs. Smith said it's likely the group will stir some area residents out of their slumber.

"It might be too early, but we have a drum line that's going before us as a wake up call," she said.

For more information about the Unity Prayer Walk or Stop the Funeral Initiative, contact their office at 919-581-9178.