Several different church leaders are planning an ecumenical church service in Greenville this Sunday to bring peace to Hunt County following the deadly shooting two weekends ago.
“Healing Hunt County” is the brainchild of the Greenville Minister’s Alliance, a group of area pastors, ministers and other church leaders, and was devised in the wake of the shooting at the Party Venue west of Greenville that took the lives of two young men and rocked the community.
Dr. John Kay, pastor at Kavanaugh United Methodist Church and a member of the alliance, said that the group was already slated to have their monthly meeting last Tuesday, but it took on a different meaning after the shooting.
“We sensed a fear in Hunt County from all ages,” Kay said. “Children were afraid to go to school because of what might happen. This was something that needed to be addressed.”
Kay says that Rev. Micah Johnson, the pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in town and also the president of the alliance, helped take the lead and spearhead the idea to bring the community together for a service.
Kay also offered the use of the Kavanaugh UMC sanctuary, which seats 540 and will be the site of the service.
“My hope for this is that it gives people hope,” Kay said. “I also hope that this can give people time to process their worries and fears along with their community and God.”
Johnson, who has been at Bethlehem church for more than 3 and a half years, said that it was important for the churches to come together to serve the community in this way.
“This shooting happened in our own front yard,” Johnson said. “In an age with such divide and mistrust, we must walk away from our personal views and instead ask ‘how do we heal from this?’”
Johnson said that the name of the service is fitting, as he “hopes for healing” in the community most of all.
The ecumenical service is open to anyone and will not feature a sermon, but instead time for prayer and worship. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov 10 at Kavanaugh United Methodist Church, located at 2516 Park Street in Greenville.