LAURINBURG — A prayer for the safety and protection of Scotland County law enforcement officers is the focus of an outdoor service at noon on Thursday as part of a commemoration of the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The service will take place at the three crosses on the hill facing Main Street behind First United Methodist Church at 101 W. Church St.
The Rev. Verne Womack, retired United Methodist Church pastor, will lead the service that combines prayers, hymns, scripture, testimony, and information about police services and organizations that support law enforcement.
The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 caused more law enforcement line of duty of deaths than any other single incident in American history. One officer was killed when United Flight 93 crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania as he and other passengers attempted to regain control of the plane from the hijackers. A total of 71 officers were killed when the two World Trade Center buildings collapsed in New York City.
The four coordinated terrorist attacks killed a total of 2,996 people and injured more than 6,000 others.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, North Carolina has lost 483 officers since 1791. Their names are honored at a memorial in Washington, D.C. Two officers died in the line of duty in North Carolina in 2015, according to North Carolina’s Department of Justice Peace Officers Memorial.
“Praying for God to extend his daily protection for our police officers as we approach the 9/11 anniversary is fitting for September’s service,” said the Rev. Jonathan Jeffries, pastor of First United Methodist Church. “We ask God to protect all Scotland County officers as they confront danger and evil every day to protect us.”
During Thursday’s program, the Laurinburg Police Department Honor Guard will present the colors, and Sgt. Shawn Chavis will offer a prayer. Paul Lemmond, who retired after serving with the sheriff’s department, will also talk about the importance of prayer to members of law enforcement.
Also planning to offer prayers will be Scotland County Sheriff Ralph Kersey and the Rev. Michael Edds, senior pastor of Cross Pointe Church. Edds also serves as chaplain for the sheriff’s office.
“I’m a thousand percent supporter of our law enforcement, and we need to cover them with our prayers,” said Edds, who previously served four years as the Laurinburg police chaplain.
The Hope on the Hill prayer series takes place at noon on the first Thursday of every month to pray for different community needs. The public is welcome.
“This community public worship once a month adds more prayers flowing to God to bless this county,” Jeffries said.
The Oct. 6 service at noon will offer prayer for fire fighters; Nov. 3 for government leaders; and Dec. 1 for church ministries.
For information, contact the First United Methodist Church office at 910-276-1592.