Song and worship filled Meridian's Highland Park Sunday afternoon. That's where a group of local churches gathered to praise together. It's what the group of churches is calling, 'Praise in the Park'. Odell Hopkins, the Pastor of West Mount Moriah Baptist Church, wanted to fill the park with positivity.
"One of the things is that we heard so many negative things that were going on within our park area and we wanted to spare that notion that the enemy has any control or power over us so what we're doing is letting the world know we're not afraid. That we'll assume our proper position and we're going to try to make the enemy know that they're loved and go into the community and share with them," explains Pastor Hopkins.
Pastor Hopkins was not the only one hoping to rejuvenate Highland Park. Other local pastors heard of the praise session and quickly joined.
"Well we're out here with Pastor Hopkins to bring solidarity and take back our park. Really in our area there are a lot of sour connotations with Highland Park with shootings and stuff. So we're out here tonight to show solidarity. Brother Hopkins' church and mine and several others. We're just going to worship God," says Pastor Gary Bickford.
The singing spread across Highland Park for a few hours. But the churches that participated hope their presence will last much longer than that.
"God has called his called his people to bring an assignment to bring peace, joy and love to our community and letting the world know who we really are."
Pastor Hopkins says the idea to come out to the park with other churches was truly about bringing worship out into the community.
"Church is church good when you're on the inside. But church was made to be among the people, carried to the people and that's what we're doing, carrying church where it ought to be," says Pastor Hopkins.
For local pastors, the outside location of Highland Park was just right.
"We've been here many times and have brought the kids. We've had many of our fellowships here in the gazebos and different things around here. We love Highland Park," says Pastor Bigfoot.