Jesus Statue, illustration

Trinity United Methodist Church will hold a prayer vigil today focusing on violence in Orangeburg, the nation and the rest of the world, the church’s pastor said.

The 6 p.m. service will center on asking for God’s help in solving the many problems in the world today, the Rev. Mack McClam said.

He says it will be “a community prayer vigil for healing, peace and hope.”

With violence overseas, mass shootings like the one in Texas and the recent off-campus shootings of two Claflin University students, “it’s praying time,” he said.

“The prayer focus is worldwide ... but we cannot overlook what has happened closer to home and at home here in Orangeburg,” he said.

Those gathered will call upon God to change and heal the world, he said.

“When we survey what we have experienced in this nation and internationally and now focused here at home, obviously something needs to be done more than humans can do,” he said.

The service is meant to call the local and state community to action, but also “to tell the world community: ‘Let’s not forget God.’ That’s the church’s role, that’s the church’s duty, that’s the church’s obligation.”

“We need to be careful that we don’t miss the most powerful tool for help that we have, and that is for the church to use her voice in saying that we don’t abandon hope,” he said.

“We need to tell the community and the world that we care. And caring is one thing, but being able to actualize what you care about is another thing,” he said.

“If we want healing in this world, if we want peace in this world, if we will ever have hope in this world, it’s through the promise of almighty God,” he said.

Claflin senior Dravious Terry, a 21-year-old from Greer, died of a gunshot wound Friday. Roommate Andre Demetrius Sanders Jr., a 21-year-old from Savannah, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

On Oct. 31, a junior mathematics major suffered a non-fatal gunshot wound at an apartment complex near Buckley Street and Russell Street. Authorities have not yet charged anyone in that shooting.

Contact the writer: chuff@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5543.

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