WINONA LAKE — Local pastors and ministry professionals gathered with faculty members from Grace College for a prayer walk Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center in Winona Lake.
A prayer walk represents the active commitment of a person or group to pray for a neighborhood, community or specific place.
According to Drew Flamm, vice-president of advancement at Grace College, the group was assembled at the invitation of the Greater Warsaw Ministerial Association, a nonprofit organization founded in 1925.
The mission statement on the GWMA Facebook page states: “The GWMA exists to; provide a means of fellowship and prayer for pastors and ministry professionals; unite Christians through worship, events and service to others; share the truths of the Bible and the good news of Jesus Christ.”
The prayer walk comes on the heels of a recent hate incident that occurred on the Grace College campus.
On Monday, Oct. 9, a freshman at Grace College discovered a message with a racial epithet written on his dormitory door. The message stated that the student did not belong at Grace.
A statement was released by Grace College President Bill Katip immediately following the incident. “As we investigate, let me be absolutely clear: racism will not be tolerated at Grace College. We are first and foremost a community of believers in Christ. We are one body called to edify and love one another. There is no place for hate on our campus. If you believe there is, then you do not belong on our campus.”
The incident is being investigated by the Winona Lake Police Department and the Grace College Campus Safety Office.
Kenneth C. Locke, community ministries director at Salvation Army in Warsaw, began the prayer walk.
“We are all equal in God’s eyes,” Locke stated, “We are saddened by what has happened here, but we also know that out of this pain can come great things if people are willing to open their hearts to the truth of God’s word.”
“I think of the roots of racism and things that were said to me when I was a young man and things that in many ways were modeled to me, and I have had to reject those things in my life,” Locke shared, continuing, “There may be some young people here who were taught that same path, but they need to understand that the end of that path is destruction and disunity.”
The men prayed for wisdom, guidance, understanding and forgiveness.