Par­tic­i­pants join to ‘Cover Wal­dorf in Prayer’

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By CERONE WHITE cwhite@somd­news.com

Last Satur­day, an es­ti­mated 100 peo­ple gath­ered for the 2017 Cover Wal­dorf Prayer Walk — unit­ing to cover 2.3 miles of the com­mu­nity with prayer.

The Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice helped direct traf­fic as par­tic­i­pants be­gan the event at the Wal­dorf West Li­brary. The walk in­cor­po­rated 10 stops for prayers, led by lo­cal min­is­ters and church mem­bers, en route to the West­lake Square Shop­ping Cen­ter park­ing lot.

“To­day’s ob­jec­tive was to bring the law en­force­ment to­gether with the com­mu­nity and with the sum­mer months ahead, we know that crime is go­ing to in­crease,” said

Pas­tor Chino L. Wal­ters, event co­or­di­na­tor. “The ob­jec­tive was to bring in pas­tors, churches, lo­cal com­mu­nity ad­vo­cates to show unity in our city and I be­lieve that the mis­sion to­day was ac­com­plished…. this is not the end and we know that this is the door that will open up di­a­logue that is un­bi­ased.”

Be­fore the walk got un­der­way, Pas­tor J. Mal­colm Ful­ton, a lo­cal com­mu­nity leader, along with Wal­ters and oth­ers, all helped to set the stage. Vol­un­teers from many churches all helped in dis­tribut­ing event T-shirts and wrist­bands, as­sisted with set­ting up tents and get­ting the plac­ard that marchers used to share their mes­sage as they trav­eled through Wal­dorf.

“It is our de­sire to have an an­nual ef­fort; how­ever, it is also my vi­sion that this will be­come a pre­ven­tive and ac­tive ef­fort in which if there’s another com­mu­nity area in Wal­dorf that is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a crime in­crease and they need some­one to come in and show unity, [then] they can call upon the prayer walk team and we’ll be there,” Wal­ters said.

Par­tic­i­pants in­cluded lo­cal re­li­gious lead­ers as well as uni­formed and non-uni­formed po­lice­men and women, who stopped to pray at the en­trance of 10 Wal­dorf com­mu­ni­ties. Neigh­bor­hoods in­cluded Fox Chase, Lan­caster, Au­tumn Hills, Dorch­ester, Hamp­shire, New For­est, Oakwood, Deer Woods and Coach­man’s Land­ing.

Par­tic­i­pants in­cluded Yolanda Lyons and Aisha Mon­roe, both from The Word of Restora­tion and De­liv­er­ance Min­istry, who “asked the Lord to pro­tect these neigh­bor­hoods from crime and vi­o­lence and asked that the Lord min­is­ters to the hearts of those who are com­mit­ting the crime.”

The event played out un­der a blue sky on a sunny day, and vol­un­teers dis­trib­uted wa­ter to par­tic­i­pants — but Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices were still called to as­sist a par­tic­i­pant who fainted due to the heat. The in­di­vid­ual was taken to a nearby hospi­tal and later re­leased.

“We as par­ents need to step in and give our chil­dren the di­rec­tion that they need to help keep them out of trou­ble,” said Capt. R.J. Wil­liams with the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice. “This walk is one way that we can def­i­nitely make changes in the com­mu­nity.”

While this was meant to be a pos­i­tive step for­ward, some passersby were seen mak­ing neg­a­tive hand ges­tures at walk par­tic­i­pants.

Still, said par­tic­i­pant Tamra Wal­ters, “I am happy busi­nesses, the sher­iff’s depart­ment and churches have united for this cause.

“To­day wasn’t about a re­li­gious event — it was to bring peo­ple to­gether above ev­ery­thing else,” Wal­ters said. “I be­lieve that the Lord is pleased with what we did to­day.”

STAFF PHO­TOS BY CERONE WHITE

Above left, Yolanda Lyons, a mem­ber of the The Word of Restora­tion and De­liv­er­ance Min­istries Church, prays at one of the 10 lo­ca­tions des­ig­nated as a prayer stop. Above right, Min­is­ter Wil­liams par­tic­pates dur­ing a prayer stop.

STAFF PHOTO BY CERONE WHITE

Par­tic­i­pants of the 2017 Cover Wal­dorf Prayer Walk pose for a photo dur­ing the event.

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