by: Jerrita Patterson
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Collierville congregation came together to pray for those impacted by Thursday’s deadly mass shooting.
The congregation inside Collierville’s Central Church prayed for understanding following the unsettling act of violence this past week.
“When we don’t understand the time, we have to go back to the character of who God is,” said Pastor Matthew Shackelford.
Shackelford says the Collierville Kroger, where Uk Thang shot and killed Olivia King and injured 14 others, really hit home.
“That was my Kroger. That was the store where my family shops at. It’s where my son shops at,” Shackelford said.
Without hesitation, he and others from his church, responded Thursday, just moments after chaos made its way into the community.
“It was a remarkable moment, where it was like we have to get there,” Shackelford said.
In the midst of devastation, Shackelford prayed for healing, peace, as well as for Collierville’s Police Chief Dale Lane.
“We actually had him at the church last Sunday, unbelievably,” Shackelford said. “We prayed over him last Sunday not knowing any of this was coming.”
During this time of tragedy, church members like Betty Tindall say they felt compelled to unite, saying there is power in prayer.
“This community is really standing behind each other,” Tindall said. “It’s a really strong community.”
Both the pastor and parishioners say this service is needed now more than ever. They add although their sense of safety was shaken, their faith is remains unwavering.
“In an uncertain time, you have to go back to the certainty of God,” Shackelford said.
Shackelford says he and others at Central Church will be readily available to anyone in need of prayer.
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