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Walk promotes unity

May 31, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

by Richard T. Meagher / staff photographer

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Unity walk

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The streets of Charles Town were alive with prayer and hymn Sunday, as members of different Christian faiths walked the streets praying for each other's parishes.

The unity walk was the first of its kind, organized by the Jefferson County Coalition for Christian Unity. It was meant to draw people of different faiths together to recognize the similarities, celebrate the differences and continue working together.

"The purpose is to bring our community together and pray for the local churches," said Julie Rhoe, member of the House of Prayer Church of God. "We're very concerned about the barriers, either racial or denominational barriers."

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There were no barriers on Sunday. The interfaith group bantered back and forth about the heat as it trekked from one parish to another, praying for the needs of different churches and singing hymns familiar to all.

At Asbury United Methodist Church, the group of 60 or so prayed for members to continue exercising their spiritual gifts and form a global mission.

At Zion Baptist Church, where visiting ministers have been leading services, Deacon Timothy Robinson asked the group to pray for a new pastor and for shut-in members.

"The ultimate goal is to bring the churches together and do more together," Robinson said.

Although this was the first unity walk, it isn't the first time people of different congregations have joined for a common purpose, Rhoe said.

In December, members of various Charles Town parishes went caroling.

"We've done the Christmas carols and those types of things, but this is more to focus on praying for our different needs," Rhoe said.

"We really need to pray for our churches, and we can pray for each other," said the Rev. Wyman Hall, pastor of the Charles Town Baptist Church.

James Taylor, member of the House of Prayer Church of God, said joining the walk was part of being a Christian and expressing his faith to God.

"It's making a statement," Taylor said. "If you grow a flower, you've got to spend some time with it to nourish it and care for it."

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