Prayer vigil encourages unity as Baton Rouge bids farewell to three fallen officers

Prayer vigil encourages unity as Baton Rouge bids farewell to three fallen officers
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - People gathered at the Bethel A.M.E. Church for a vigil honoring all of the fallen officers Friday night.

The funerals for the fallen officers are taking a tremendous toll on the community and several people are praying for unity. Hands were lifted in praise and the community called out for peace as Baton Rouge is bathed in tragedy and laying to rest three fallen officers.

"I just think the community as a whole, we need to come together as one because God is of love. He's not a God of hate," said Maria Givens.  

"Turning to God and faith can be a uniting aspect of that and the way to do that," added Larry Smolinsky.

The prayer vigil served as a time to pause and reflect as parishioners still try to make sense of the horrible tragedy nearly a week later.

"I think so... I think we're still really in the midst of it to be perfectly honest," Smolinsky said.

Father Richard Andrus with St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church prayed for the community, but said he remains faithful that God will heal Baton Rouge.

"God has brought us this far by faith not to leave us but to lead us. He won't take us back to where we came from but lead us to where he needs us to be,"
Andrus said.

While one hero was escorted to his final resting place, two more funerals are still to come as the city sags under the weight of such intense grief.

"We have to keep faith in God," Givens said. "We have to keep faith in mankind and in one another."

Many at the vigil say they believe with the power of prayer, Baton Rouge may bend, but that its resolve remains unbroken.

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