Sandwiched between two nights of violence, hundreds gathered in Lynchburg for prayer vigil

‘It is imperative that the church speaks’

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Before Monday’s peaceful protests turned chaotic and then violent, hundreds gathered for a prayer vigil in Lynchburg.

[More arrests come after protesters shoot at officers Monday night in Lynchburg]

It was a moment for healing early Monday evening at Monument Terrace after violence broke out in Lynchburg the night before.

Hundreds of people from churches across the Hill City gathered at 6 p.m. on a historic hill -- the terrace steps.

The Ramp Church International and Waymaker Church, along with others, felt it was time for the faith-based community to act.

As they put it, their continued silence would have said much more than what was heard at the vigil on Monday.

Strategy and community are the only things that will heal the hurt, they said, and they believe that starts with them.

“As we look at the history of the freedom of African Americans in this country from abolitionists through the civil rights movement, all the way to this moment, it has always been the undercurrent of the church," said Bishop S. Y. Younger, Senior Pastor at Ramp Church International. “The voices have been the church. The civil rights leaders were preachers. So, we think it is imperative that the church speaks. It’s vital to the history and it’s vital to the present.”

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