Participants join to ‘Cover Waldorf in Prayer’
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.”
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.
Participants of the 2017 Cover Waldorf Prayer Walk pose for a photo during the event.