Drivers of approximately 30 vehicles parked in the Riverland Medical Center on Friday while others surrounded Merit Health Natchez and Riverbridge Specialty Hospital in Vidalia for "Prayer Over the Hospitals."
First Baptist Vidalia pastor Dr. Wes Faulk led a prayer over 104.7 The Gator radio station.
Following the prayer, those in their vehicle honked their horns to let members of the community know they are praying for them. Drivers of the cars also turned on their flashers to show support for health care workers.
"The communitywide worship and prayer service was the idea of Bebe Ann," Faulk said. "She had the vision of gathering at Trace Town and praying over our medical professionals. Vickie Fort contacted me after seeing this idea online and asked how our church could participate. One of the ideas that hit me was that it needed to be a Miss-Lou communitywide event."
Faulk contacted Brandon McCranie with 104.7 The Gator.
"They have gone out of their way to be community partners in this time," Faulk said. "They jumped at the idea. In fact, they came back to me and suggested that we make it a full hour event on the radio for our community. With 104.7 onboard I reached out to our local mayors and police departments. Every local authority got behind the idea. They not only allowed the event, but fully supported the event."
With that hour, Faulk expanded on the original idea.
"With an hour of time we could do more than pray for our medical personnel," he said. "We needed to pray as well for every essential worker in the Miss-Lou. Our Walmart employees, truckers, food service and blue-collar workers need prayer and strength as well. The service expanded to include these folks."
Faulk said he has had discussions with healthcare professionals and blue-collar workers.
"I have heard their need for prayer," he said. "They go and serve sacrificially for us. That said, they share the same fears in expanded ways. Many worry about whether their work will bring the virus home to their families.
“Many blue collar workers worry about passing it from job to job. They need our support. They need our prayers. Now is a time where our community has a responsibility to support our essential workers in any way we can. One of the simplest ways is to bring them and their families to God."