LAURINBURG — Every Wednesday around noon at the downtown square — between a defunct gasoline station and Bob’s Jewel Shop — pedestrians and drivers pass by the shouts and praises of more than a dozen community church members of different denominations who have banded together to pray for the county.
At the park square, located at the intersection of South Main and West Church streets on Wednesday, 17 pastors and members of various Scotland County and Maxton churches joined hands Wednesday to pray and honor the Prayer on the Square’s second anniversary.
“We started here praying for our county, for our city, for our churches and for our neighborhoods,” said senior pastor of East Laurinburg Pentecostal Holiness Church, Rev. Michael Edds, as he shook hands and embraced everyone who had arrived to take part.
“Scotland County is one of the most violent counties in the state. Every Wednesday we pray for the gangs, drug dealers, police officers, city council, mayor, school system — just pray that God will turn Laurinburg right-side up.”
Edds said the community churches — “the body of Christ” — come together to “get right with God” and uplift the county in prayer with the faith that it will help make their home a better place.
“We said we’d pray in the snow, rain, sunshine — and we have, haven’t we?” Edds asked the group. “To God be the glory.”
A chorus of “amen” rose in agreement.
Laurinburg native Lucia Freeman closed out the 20-minute meeting with spiritual songs. She’s been attending the gatherings since they started and sings at the end every week.
“I come to lift the name of Jesus,” she said. “We need him right now.”
Mary Evans, Laurinburg resident and army veteran, has also been praying with the group since it started.
“It’s a refreshing anointing,” she said.
Edds said Prayer on the Square began two years ago when he and a few other church leaders “got together” and were inspired to begin the weekly prayers. He said that they’ve had “as many as 60 people” join them at the square before.
“We’re going to keep praying until God moves,” Edds said.
Rachel McAuley can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 15. Follow her on Twitter @rachelmcauley1.