East Texas pastors hold prayer vigil after Capitol invasion

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Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 9:42 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Community pastors and members of faith gathered in Tyler Thursday night for a prayer vigil at Pollard United Methodist Church.

35 signatures from different religious organizations signed a letter aiming to push back divisiveness after Wednesday’s capital invasion.

“We had a moment of national crisis yesterday. I think that if we don’t as religious leaders stand up and push back against that and call it out, I don’t think we’re doing our jobs,” Congregation Beth El’s Rabbi Neal Katz.

Their message is to push back against chaos with a voice of love and show unity.

“I came to the prayer vigil today because even though we’re in Tyler, Texas, we need individual healing, we need community healing,” Open Door Bible Church Pastor Jerome Milton said.

Pastors and members turned to prayer to provide healing for the community. Pollard United Methodist Church, Pastor, Stephen Rhoades was one of the many who signed the letter from the East Texas Clergy.

“Knowing what is the right thing to do and saying I’m going to do everything I can to live a better life, a more loving life, a more compassionate life to people, and that’s what the letter called for us to do.”

Milton says it was important for him to attend.

“We saw fit to come together this day, this hour, this moment, and pray for my spirit, pray for my heart, pray for my souls that people will know that they can come together if we come together.”

Prayers were also heard for the recent Starrville Methodist Church shooting.

The full statement from the East Texas Clergy:

“We are a community of religious leaders from East Texas. We are led by faith to create a holier world. We are thankful to live in a country that has institutions to protect and uplift its citizens. And we support the rights of citizens to peacefully protest.

The actions by the protesters in Washington DC and Atlanta, GA today do not reflect our higher calling. We pray that their hearts may be turned to Godly service rather than political goals. One is eternal, the other, temporary. We pray for calm and we pray for justice.

We ask all of our fellow East Texans to do the same. May those who brought about this moment of chaos repent for their attempts to undermine democracy. We ask our community to attend their places of worship in the coming days and hear the words of a God of love, a call for peace, and a voice for justice.

May we push back against chaos with a voice of love.”

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