TAMPA, Fla. — Hundreds of parishioners at a local Tampa church marched Saturday morning to pray and show solidarity as a community.
ABC Action News reporter Anthony Hill spoke with some people who attended the march and they told him why it was important for them to come together as a community and hit the pavement.
There was singing, praying, and a little cardio. Crossover Church in Tampa held their Uptown Prayer walk.
Families of different ethnicities got together at Crossover Church on Fowler Avenue and walked about a mile to University Mall. The purpose was to show solidarity as a community and pray together. “For anybody is who is just going through it, it just reminds us that we’re all here for each other and that better days are coming,” said Loyalty Blue, one of the church's parishioners.
This is the second annual Uptown Prayer Walk. The first one took place last year after the civil unrest that took place in Tampa after the murder of George Floyd. “We believe in the power of prayer and, so, we gathered. Last year, it was pouring down rain. There were over 400 people that were gathered here to pray. We wanted to let people know clearly that Jesus and justice go together,” said Executive Pastor Christopher J. Harris.
Due to the success of last year’s walk, they decided to do it again, but this time, it’s not to calm a community that’s hurting with the work of prayer. “We also want people to know that we can be proactive in prayer as well. That prayer is not just a defensive weapon. It’s also an offensive weapon for the believer,” said Pastor Harris.
One member of the church says, it was important for him to be there in solidarity with his community because he couldn’t pretend to not notice what people who he cares about are going through. “I can’t be comfortable while my friends are hurting. This is as much my community as it is anyone else,” said Marty White, a Sunday school teacher for the church.
Their community is diverse and the people have different life experiences, but it’s the compassion that unites them during times when family and community are most important. “I noticed that there was every skin color here. I noticed that there were nationalities here that I don’t even know all of the nationalities that were here. There was every age group here and I think sometimes we’re so busy praying for a miracle that we could be standing in the middle of a miracle,” said White.