Englewood pastor Andrew Gibson of the 73-year-old Vernon Baptist Church announced the first 24 Hour Prayer Walk. The walk took place over the weekend from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. the next day. The walk was presented to display strength in the streets that are vastly weakened by violence. Gibson stated, “In the last three years, we’ve hosted summer camps, after school programs, outdoor gospel fests, we’ve cleaned the streets, we’ve held outdoor prayer vigils, community mentorships … In the light of the continual violence in our city, I felt that it was imperative to do more.”
Hundreds of people wore white t-shirts that said 24 Hour Prayer Walk on them. They wanted to be identified as a collective body. The group met on the 65th block of King Drive in Chicago at a church. They marched in the community with bags of food to be passed out and were praying for those in need. One pastor there was hiring people on the spot to start on Monday morning. They were giving out other resources to individuals based on their needs.
The walk started with 100 people and ended up being 10 people who completed the entire 24 hour walk. The group started in the rough community of Woodlawn in Chicago and walked all the way west. After walking over 20 miles, they then made it back to their starting point on the 65th block of King Drive. Gibson said, “My legs hurt, my back hurt, my eyes hurt, everything hurt but listen here … our city is hurting even more.” He plans on having many more endeavors to help reduce violence in the most troubled parts of Chicago. Gibson said, “This was only the beginning; we are looking for some people that’s ready to take our city back now!”
Photos by Melanie L. Brown with Steed Media.