Participants: Prayer helps Selma

Published 7:41 pm Monday, February 9, 2009

Residents, community leaders and government officials gathered at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center Monday night to pray for Selma. They placed the green aluminum chairs in small circles prayed in hushed voices for Selma’s youth, law enforcement and economy.

“I feel lifted up,” Mayor George Evans said. “The numbers weren’t great, but the spirit was moving. The Lord, he doesn’t deal with numbers anyway.”

Evans plans on holding a prayer vigil every second Monday of each month.

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Both young and old came to the convention center to pray. The vigil is meant to bring the community together, regardless of race or religious background.

Avery Gray, whose father Tom is the pastor at Reform Presbyterian Church, hopes the city can come together.

“And just grow more connected,” Gray said.

The Rev. Daniel Martin of Bethel Church beamed as he walked around after the vigil and shook hands with people.

“This went farther than my expectations,” Martin said.

Councilwoman Susan Keith is convinced that Selma will continue to improve. She pointed out the decrease in violent crime in the city as a positive sign.

“We attribute it to our turning to God and seeking his will for our city,” Keith said. “We just know brighter days are ahead.”

Marshall Williams remembers Selma’s former luster. Williams has lived in Selma all his life, and he believes God is the first step in the right direction.

“It’s just going to take one thing and that’s us believing in him,” Williams said. “We saw this as something to possibly be a way to where we want to go.”

Marshall attended the vigil with his wife, Barbara. They shook Evans’ hand after the vigil and thanked him for organizing the event.

“This town has been drug down long enough,” Barbara said. “We just want to see Selma turn around.”