FINCASTLE, Va. – WSLS 10 News and Fincastle Baptist Church opened the phone lines and many of you reached out, looking for hope.
Hundreds called-in to speak to an area faith leader on Wednesday for the Prayers for Hope phone bank.
“This was a real need; it is a real need,” said Father Steve McNally with Church of the Transfiguration.
Spaced out across the worship center and down the front hallway, the faith leaders, who can’t meet face-to-face with those scared and hurting, can easily answer the phone.
“We are told to be socially distant from one another and everything about us is we want to reach out to others and help. We want to hold hands, we want to hug, we have to sort of do it virtually. What a wonderful day when we can again be together in churches, synagogues and mosques and other houses of worship,” McNally said.
Call after call came though from people who have financial and health concerns and are generally feeling fearful and isolated.
“I talked to many people tonight this was their only outlet to someone in days,” said Mark Hopkins, senior pastor at Shenandoah Baptist Church.
“It's kind of humbling and amazing to see an idea that quite frankly my wife just shared with me a couple days ago blossom into something and hopefully it's been a help and encouragement to so many here in our area,” said Kevin Cummings, senior pastor at Fincastle Baptist Church.
With more than 200 calls from 4 to 7:30 p.m the faith leaders spent very little time off the phone and more time fielding heartbreaking stories from those looking for hope.
“I just got off the phone with a lady who is in hospice. Her husband cannot visit her. She knows she only has a few days left to live and so tonight we were able to share hope with her,” said Hopkins.
Here’s a list of all that faith leaders who took part.
Kevin Cummings, Fincastle Baptist Church
Serenus T. Churn, Jr., High Street Baptist Church
Quigg Lawrence, Church of the Holy Spirit
Tony Mardian, Hope of Israel
Sean Burch, Spirit of Unity Baptist Church
Brent Williams, Colonial Presbyterian Church
Mark Hopkins, Shenandoah Baptist Church
Sergio Guirdia, Hispanic Leadership Catalyst at SBC of Virginia
Stan Parris, Franklin Heights Church
David Shearer, Elevation Church
Steve McNally, Church of the Transfiguration
Bryan Smith, First Roanoke
Chris Cadenhead, Bonsack Baptist Church
John Ott, Parkway Church on the Mountain