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Prayers for healing, forgiveness ring out in Fuquay-Varina

Posted June 20, 2015

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— In the days since the massacre at a Charleston church, people of faith have had a series of prayer vigils and memorial services, seeking the strength, sharing forgiveness and demonstrating the power of grace.

In Fuquay-Varina Saturday, Mayor John W. Byrne joined leaders from a number of congregations to pray for the grieving families and stand up against violence and hate.

People of different races and different faiths joined hands and raised their voices at St. Augusta Missionary Baptist Church in defiance of the evil that invaded the sanctuary of Charleston's Emanuel AME Church.

"We know that prayer is universal and goes across state lines," said St. Augusta Pastor Dr. Marvin Connelly.

​They prayed for peace and for each other.

"We are all God's family, regardless of the color of our skin," Dr. Portia Rochelle, president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP told the gathering.

And they prayed for the man behind the attack.

"We're going to pray for the young man that has caused all this hurt and this pain," said Rev. Anthony Farrar, of Faith Missionary Baptist Church, "We're going to pray for him too, God."

Those who spoke urged action beyond prayer.

"Hate does not just happen overnight,” said Fuquay-Varina Chief of Police Laura Fahnestock. “Each of us has the responsibility to try to help anybody that we can."

"We're going to get better," Farrar said. "We're going to become a better nation, a better people."

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