SANFORD, Fla. -
When the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman came down late Saturday night, demonstrators in Sanford reacted, but did so in a way that made city leaders proud.
Today the Sanford Chief of Police joined other leaders and at the New Word Life Church in Sanford where residents gathered to turn to worship and prayer.
"Jesus is the answer for the whole world today," said Gwen Lawrence, a Sanford resident who is trying to help the community heal.
She is one of many who do not agree with the verdict that came down less than two days ago.
"I wasn't happy with it. I accept it. Through the death of Trayvon, and the acquittal of George Zimmerman, this community is going to come together," said Carol Everette, who works in town.
In Monday's service, Sanford leaders thanked the community for the peaceful protests.
While many still demonstrated throughout the town afer the verdict, the crowds never grew to the size of the rallies in Sanford more than a year and a half ago.
Chief of Police Cecil Smith sees it as a sign to move on.
"God brought us into a facility at a time that we need to breathe new life into Sanford, and we are at that threshold to write a new chapter for this community," he said.
The prayers are not just for the Martin family and the grieving community. Pastors also asked to keep another family in their prayers -- a family whose lives have also changed forever.
"We praise Jesus' name that you will pray for the Zimmerman family, the father, the mother, the sister, the brothers, and Mr. Zimmerman himself," said one of the pastors, to applause.
It's part of moving on.
"Because both (are) going through a lot," Lawrence said. "And we should love each other and try to get a long with each other."
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