By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
In front of the Meridian City Hall Thursday at noon, Mayor Percy Bland joined leaders in the church community offering prayers for the city of Meridian, its leaders and citizens.
"At the end of the day, we are all part of the same big family," Bland said before leading the group in prayer. "We need to pray for our leaders to have the vision to lead us into prosperous times and we need to pray for the residents to have a safe place in which to raise their families."
The event was sponsored by the Meridian Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, a group of pastors, priests, and other church leaders who are trying to wrestle back inner city neighborhoods from the throes of crime.
"We are trying to get our communities back," said Dorothy Lloyd, who was one of the organizers of the event. "We are trying to lessen the crime and violence in Meridian and to give our lost youth an avenue to turn away from the violence."
Pastor Cornelia Naylor started out the special prayers for the children of Meridian. She was followed by Bishop W. C. Brown, who addressed the issue of crime and violence.
Joy Robinson outlined the dangers of apathy and complacency, while Jeanie Hover spoke of the divisions within the city itself. Paster Gary Houston tied all the hopes and dreams of a city together while speaking of the unity it will require to tackle all these issues.