Faith & Blue weekend closed out with prayer vigil on square

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

On Monday evening, local faith and city leaders gathered in Lafayette Square with law enforcement officers and community members to send off Faith & Blue weekend with a prayer vigil.

The event is the culmination of a trio of events throughout the weekend to celebrate the coming together of faith-based communities in support of law enforcement.

Faith & Blue weekend is a nationwide movement that started in 2020 with the support of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The event aims to create partnerships between law enforcement professionals, residents, businesses and community groups through faith-based organizations.

“As we stand today to celebrate Faith & Blue, I’m so thankful today to stand and thank the ladies and men in blue, those that have given themselves for the safety of LaGrange, the city of LaGrange but more than that the safety of everyone,” LaGrange Mayor Willie Edmondson said.

Edmondson said that faith and blue go hand in hand, noting that the Bible teaches to obey the laws of the land.

“If we’re Christians, we’re to obey those laws of the land,” he said.

Edmondson called for the community to support law enforcement but also called for an end to violence in LaGrange.

“My hope for LaGrange and for the whole world that will have no more violence. That we will have no more shootings,” Edmondson said. 

For many years, Edmondson has had dual roles. For the faith community, he is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist in West Point, but he has also had a role in city leadership for many years, first as a LaGrange Councilman and now as mayor. He said he takes both roles seriously, especially when there is a shooting.

Edmondson noted that he and the council are frequently criticized on social media whenever there is a shooting, asking where the mayor and council are.

“I don’t know about the city council but the mayor is on his knees praying,” Edmondson said.  “I’m praying because I have the responsibility of seeing hurting mothers and hurting fathers when they come in to bury their children. No one wants to see a mother or a father hurting for the loss of a child.”

City and community leaders joined with law enforcement to pray for unity and for the end of the shooting violence that has taken so many lives of late. A candlelight prayer was also held for parents who have lost a child.