Dumont Plaza was packed this afternoon as people from all over Meridian gathered to pray for the city. Odell Hopkins organized this particular event and had pastors from local churches come and pray for different parts of the community that need help.
"Many of the brothers in this community said that we need to do something and bring some unity and some cohesiveness to our community. We know that we've got issues. Meridian like any other community has issues, but they won't ever be resolved unless the people come together."
Another prayer vigil was held Friday evening at city hall, and this one comes on the heels of a shooting, armed robbery, and attempted kidnapping that all occurred yesterday.
"Sometimes God reaffirms to us that we have issues. We can become too relaxed, and I'm not saying that the kidnapping was of God, but I'm saying that they are signs that this community needs special attention, and it needs nurturing in order to be delivered from those problems."
Hopkins has a message of hope and love to the people that are committing these acts. He says the community wants to help them turn their lives around.
"There are people that will hear you, and not only hear you, but we'll do as best as we can to help you. We want you to be all you can be. Don't throw your lives away. Make sure that you're giving it your best to be all you can be."
Community prayer vigils will likely last as long as there is a need.