City coming together to pray over schools

Published 3:00 am Friday, August 7, 2015

MESSENGER PHOTO/COURTNEY PATTERSON Troy Elementary School Principal Teresa Sims joins teachers, staff, parents and students in prayer Tuesday. Several gathered to pray over the upcoming school year.

Troy Elementary School Principal Teresa Sims joins teachers, staff, parents and students in prayer Tuesday. Several gathered to pray over the upcoming school year.

The 2014-2015 school year was a tough one at Charles Henderson High School, as three classmates died during the school and a beloved teacher and another classmate passed away this summer. So students and teachers prepare for the return of classes, some have decided to come together to pray over the next school year.

Jennifer Sanders, career tech, business and computer teacher at CHHS, said the idea started with a conversation between teachers at CHHS.

“Several of us got together, and we were talking about praying before school,” said Sanders. “We just said that we wanted to cover the campus with prayer before schools started … We ended up having three deaths in our school, then Ms. Wagoner died. We’ve had so much tragedy, and the kids are tired of crying. It was so much sadness. We need to cover this campus in prayer.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Covering the Campuses in Prayer event will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. Anyone interested in participating can meet at CHHS at the flagpole.

While this is not a school event, representatives at all the Troy City Schools, including the Troy-Pike Center of Technology, have become involved.

“We are just concerned for students coming through the doors,” said Glenda Kelly, ACCESS program facilitator. “We just want to bring in some people and cover the campuses in prayer.”

Through word of mouth alone, 26 local pastors have joined the effort as prayer leaders. These leaders will be assigned to different areas across the campuses and will specifically pray over those areas.

“God just really delivers big,” Sanders said. “It came together so fast. On Tuesday we decided to do, and by Friday we had 15 pastors on board.”

Sanders said that pastors from different denominations are coming together, all for one purpose. Prayer leaders will be stationed at each building of the high school, the parking lots and even the baseball and football fields.

“We lost a Trojan on the football field, so we want to make sure we pray over that,” Sanders said.

Troy Elementary School kicked off the prayer coverage Tuesday. Kelly said that TES is hosting orientation during the time that the other schools were meeting, but teachers there did not want to miss out. Approximately 50 people gathered at TES, walking the halls and coming together in individual classrooms to pray.

“I just believe that the power of the event shows that the community cares about the education system and those who are involved,” Kelly said. “This is not a school function, so it shows that the community is coming together to pray and to cover our children in prayer.”

Before the prayer event Monday, there will be a scripture reading of Jeremiah 29:11 as it states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

“God has a future for us and hope for the kids,” Sanders said.

The goal is to pray over not only the students and the teachers, but anyone involved with the schools. This includes parents, counselors, faculty, staff, coaches, etc.

“Whether it’s the janitor or the cafeteria workers, we want to pray over them,” Kelly said. “It’s not just the teachers. Everyone plays a vital part in educating these kids.”

Those participating had the opportunity to purchase shirts to wear to the event and throughout the year, as a reminder of the prayers covering the schools. It is not a requirement to have a t-shirt to attend the event.

“We love our kids, and we just want to make sure they are prayed for,” Sanders said. “And they will be.”

The community is invited, and Kelly and Sanders agreed that there could not be too many people involved.

“We would love to have enough people to make a huge circle around the campus,” Sanders said.