LAURINBURG — Spurred by the county’s position at the top of North Carolina’s crime rankings and a spate of violent shootings in Laurinburg the prior year, in 2012 a group of Scotland County residents decided to take matters into their own hands — by bringing them together in prayer.
“Prayer on the Square” celebrated the start of its fifth year on Wednesday as a dozen faithful participants met for the group’s weekly gathering in the James lot park at the corner of Church and Main streets.
“We were praying for revival, an awakening to come to this region,” said the Rev. Michael Edds of Crosspointe Church, one of the leaders of Prayer on the Square. “Among all the immense amount of prayers going up for this region, we’ve prayed for our city government, our county government, our schools, we’ve prayed that these gangs would be turned into gangs for God.”
Political issues are far from the forefront of the group’s prayers, which focus on the city’s immediate quandaries.
“Remember we prayed over the internet gambling that invaded our town, and what did God do?” Edds asked the group. “He moved it right out, and right before our eyes.”
Strains of “This Little Light of Mine” and “Come by Here” flanked a brief session of prayer for divine intercession in improving Scotland County’s economic and social straits.
“We all need to get together and be on one accord,” said Lucille Freeman. “Laurinburg needs help. We all need help, and you can’t get enough of prayer. Prayer changes things.”
The meeting is held each Wednesday at noon in all seasons, regardless of the weather. Nor is the brand of any individual’s belief taken into account. While a tight cadre of loyal followers keep Prayer on the Square a tradition, passersby are welcome to join, even if only to lend their hands to prayer for a moment.
“We have not let rain stop us or snow stop us; we have not missed a day,” said Edds. “God has used our group to show this community that black and white folks and Lumbee folks can get along, that we’re brothers and sisters in Christ. We’re one church, and denominations can get along.”
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.