Walking and Praying Against Drug Epidemic
Stand in the Gap Coalition hosted a 1.3-mile walk on November 8 near Caryville, TN, to highlight the need for healing from the drug problems that have devastated many lives in that region. According to Sheldon Livesay, one of the leaders, “Drugs are an epidemic in Appalachia and east Tennessee. They are affecting virtually every household. They are bringing families to their knees, and churches are crossing denominational lines to come together and cry out to God for help.”
Organizers erected a 100-foot cross as the focal point for participants as they prayed and walked toward an exit off Interstate 75. Upon reaching the cross, the crowd gathered to pray for those addicted to drugs, as well as to hear testimonies from those who have found freedom from their addictions. Sheila Raye Charles (Ray Charles’s daughter) told of her drug addiction experience and being in rehab 21 times. Prayers were offered by Campbell County’s mayor, E.L. Morton; the 8th Judicial District’s attorney general, Jared Effler, and the sheriff’s chaplain of Campbell County, Vinson Vannett.
In 2011, Stand in the Gap sponsored a similar prayerwalk in the Cumberland Gap, TN, with 8,000 participants representing 30 percent of the county. In 2012, a coalition of seven cities in nine counties brought together 20,000 people for the prayer efforts.
Stand in the Gap Coalition was formed to promote prayer and a unified effort against drug problems in the region of east Tennessee, southeast Kentucky, and southwest Virginia. Since its inception, thousands of people have prayerwalked in their counties, seeking God’s healing for the drug epidemic. For more information, go to standntgap.smugmug.com.
(C) 2015 Prayer Connect magazine