Prayer vigil to honor officers, community set for Thursday

Published 6:07 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A group of local religious leaders and others are set to gather together to offer prayers for Port Arthur Police officers and for the community.

The prayer gathering is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the parking lot in front of the Port Arthur Police Department, 645 Fourth St.

The event is meant to be an encouraging time of prayer and support for the police department as well as a time to pray for the community at large, the Rev. Lynne Parker, of Faith Harbor Assembly of God church, said.

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“We can’t stand back and do nothing when our society is facing a crisis at this moment,” Parker said. “I believe the crisis is spiritual in nature and God is the answer to the prayer. We need God in our country. Morals are falling apart. When lawlessness abounds the love of many waxes cold.”

Speakers for the event include PAPD Officer Rickey Antoine, the Rev. Glenn Alexander, the Rev. John Morgan and Harold Doucet.

Violence and death has been part of the headlines in the past week. On July 5, Alton Sterling was shot in Louisiana after being pinned to the pavement by two white officers and a day later a Minnesota officer fatally shot Philando Castile while he was in a car with a woman and a child.

Closer to home, on July 2, there was the fatal shooting of a Beaumont woman, Shalala Fletcher, by a former security guard outside a Port Arthur convenience store.

Racial tensions flared and on July 7, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and shot at a group of people during what had began as a peaceful Black Lives Matter Rally. He killed five Dallas officers and injured nine others.

“We are happy our police officers will be coming to the prayer gathering and the public is welcome to attend,” she said. “This is very spiritual and God centered. We need to Lord right now.”

Twitter: @MaryMeauxPANews