During Thanksgiving week, The Meridian Star is featuring volunteers in the community. This is one of a series.
Whether it’s standing before the congregation at her church or reaching out to people in the community, Sinnessa Wilburn takes her role as an intercessor to heart.
On Sundays, you will find Wilburn at Prince of Peace Christian Fellowship Church in Meridian, where she volunteers as an intercessor.
This role involves reaching out to people in her church and the community to find out the needs people have and to offer prayers on their behalf.
Prior to joining the church about a year ago, she served as an intercessor in private, but now does it in public.
“That was a challenge to me because I am used to being in the background,” Wilburn said. “Standing before people and actually praying was something different, but I knew it was the season for it. I feel that because of my obedience I have been able to grow spiritually – getting to know my purpose.”
Praying for others has also grown her faith, Wilburn said.
“When I started I had what they considered mustard “seed” faith, now I operate through my mustard “tree” faith, that’s where I truly believe in the power of prayer,” she said. “We pray for peoples' well being – from their health to their financial status, to the well being of their children, the community, the state, and the nation.
“We cover all bases because we understand the situation going on right now. Everybody needs prayer.”
Wilburn said she was created to be a servant, and volunteering in the church has provided her with that opportunity.
“Being able to fill the need whether it is monetary, providing clothes, or taking someone to the grocery store; whatever that need is, that’s what I was created to do,” she said. “I feel like we have to get to a place where it is outside of the walls. I believe in an invisible church wall, that wherever you are you still display that same type of nature.
“Just to be able to offer that warm hug, or just a smile – to say I recognize you are here.”
Wilburn said she especially has a heart for young people.
“We encounter so many people who are so bitter and angry, especially our young people,” Wilburn said. “I have been a substitute teacher, student advocate with the NAACP, attend school board meetings, community forums, and even created an organization that supported the youth.
“It is so vitally important to me that they feel like they have a voice. That’s what I have been able to do and I have been blessed to do it.”
Her role of connecting people in the community with prayer is especially important to Wilburn.
“I don’t walk around with a cross on my chest, and I don’t walk around with a halo, believe me. I have flaws, but I am me all the time and I am genuine,” Wilburn said. “When I approach you, I approach you in love; if I have a concern with you I will address it in love. Because I am able to do that, people feel comfortable coming to me if they have a need.
“So often people try to handle things on their own because they feel if they share it, it will be scattered throughout Meridian, but they know I am like Fort Knox. I will hold on to what you tell me.”
Wilburn believes churches should stop operating in silos.
“If we are truly the children of God, we say we are we have to find commonality and work together to bring light to this city,” Wilburn said. “There is nearly a church on every corner, but with every single corner, you see a homeless person, or a child out there with no direction. If we are truly going to be a church let’s start by operating as one – get out of the silos.
“I have lived here all my life, and I have seen some great days of Meridian and some dark days of Meridian. I look forward to one day seeing it return to its luster.”
Wilburn said even as a child it was in her nature to stand in the gap for others.
“I just want to be someone that could offer that listening ear – not just listen, but actually go to someone that I felt could do something about it, and that’s our Heavenly Father,” Wilburn said. “That’s an amazing feeling just knowing that I have been able to impact so many lives – little me.”