Paducah community comes together, prays for peace

Paducah community comes together, prays for peace

PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - Heartbreak has no boundaries. The deadly ambush of Dallas police officers has touched communities across the country and in the Heartland.

Now, the community of Paducah is praying for peace.

Paducah Mayor Gayle Kahler and Judge Executive Bob Leeper say it's time for the community to come together, so they helped organize a county-wide prayer service on Tuesday, July 12.

It was an effort to unite citizens and mend hearts.

No matter the denominations, race or creed, Paducah stood together in prayer.

Pastors Nathan Joyce and Raynarldo Henderson lent their voices to Tuesday's service.

Raynarldo Henderson is the Senior Pastor at Washington Street Baptist Church, the oldest African American congregation in western Kentucky.

"I've just been trying to get our congregation to get past as best we can," Henderson said. "The hurt and the disappointment, and begin to embrace the challenges of the word of God."

Henderson said it's been hard for his congregation to get past the pain of recent events.

"We've been praying for the victims and the two African American men of course who were shot and killed," Henderson said. "We've been praying that our communities have experienced that obviously too many times, all too often. And we've also been praying for the victims of the police officers in Dallas."

Nathan Joyce is the Senior Pastor at Heartland Worship Center.

He said the recent events leave people fighting against racism and against those who protect us.

"We want to say we believe that we can battle racism and offer support to our officers that they need, and appreciate them as well," Joyce said. "That we don't have to choose between those and I think that's the tension that needs to be relieved in our community."

Paducah Human Rights Commission Chair Dr. Bernice Belt said the power of both pastors uniting sends a message about coming together.

"I think they reached a level of solidarity, about mending broken bridges and building bridges where there were never any between races and ethnicities," Belt said.

Joyce said the change starts with you.

"I think that the main message is that if we want things to change, change has to start with us."

Pastor Henderson said every Thursday at Washington Street Church they have a group that meets called "Continuing the Conversation" and invites anyone to attend.

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