Orlando prayer service a call to action to end violence

By John W. Davis, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 03, 2017, 9:24 AM EDT

This story was posted on: 10:20 p.m., Monday, Jan. 09, 2017.

Participants in an emotional prayer service hope to change the spirit of Orlando, after two law enforcement officers died in the line of duty Monday.

Pastors at the Joshua Generation Outreach Church began by asking God to lift the spirit of murder off Orlando and Orange County. They ended with a call to action.

"Our community needs to speak. We just can't pray. We got to speak up. We've got to talk, we have to open our mouths. We cannot sit back and just expect something to happen," said Pastor Jerry Owens.

For Pastor Justin Felton of The Sanctuary Church, the loss of Orlando Police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton is personal.

Felton spent many hours working with Sgt. Clayton on community related projects through Orlando District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill's office.

"Somebody who had a huge heart for the community. She just wasn't about the blue. She was about the black, white and the blue. We lost a guardian angel," Pastor Felton explained.

Dozens of people also prayed for the family of Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis, who died in a motorcycle crash during the manhunt. 

They also prayed for repentance and a change of heart for the suspect Markeith Loyd.

"My faith is so strong that our community is changing, we're coming together," Pastor Owens shared.

"When we do things like this, where churches can come together in several locations and just bombard the community with prayer," Pastor Felton said, "I think this is just one of those elements that we add. Now it's time for the strategy, now it's time for the strategic placement. Now it's time to talk with elected officials, now it's time to take with community leaders."

Four different churches participated in Monday night's prayer services across Orlando.