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Community comes together for annual prayer breakfast

By Allen Brewer

Community members and leaders came together on Saturday to unite for prayer and discussion as the Tallahatchie-Oxford Missionary Baptist Assocation hosted their fourth annual prayer breakfast.

“We need to come together and build more relationships to help the community,” Pastor Lindsey Sanford said as he presided over the meeting.

Sanford was joined by several pastors and ministers from the surrounding Missionary Baptist churches that came Saturday morning to enjoy fellowship and pray about local and national issues.

Other leaders from the community, including Oxford School District Superintendent Brian Harvey,  Oxford Mayor Robin Tannehill and Oxford Police Chief Joey East, were also present to talk about problems and solutions in the community.

The theme of this year’s meeting was focusing on family, faith and fellowship.

“We are 19 churches who have come together to work on problems in the community,” Minister Alice Adams, TOMB recording secretary, said.

The event began with opening words by Sanford and Adams. Members and guests then enjoyed a full breakfast of eggs, sausage and more cooked by members of My Hope MBC.

Following breakfast, prayers were offered for the pastors and ministers, led by Minister Lisa Thompson of West Springhill MBC; the churches, by Pastor Alfred Hall of Philadelphia MBC; the communities, by Minister Annie Hickenbottom of East Providence MBC; the schools, by Minister Gerald Martin of North Hopewell MBC; the sick and injured, by Minister Viola Price of Harrisonville MBC and the country and government, by Pastor Willie G. Ervin of New Hope MBC.

“If there was ever a time we needed the Lord, it is now,” Ervin said.

After the prayers, guest speakers came forward to talk about issues in the community.

Harvey spoke about how OSD has been making great efforts to decrease the achievement gap between students of different races. He also stressed the importance of education in life success.

“Education doesn’t solve problems, but it does mitigate them,” Harvey said.

Tannehill spoke about how faith and prayer helped her during her campaign. She also spoke about issues in the community such as affordable housing and creating more spaces for diversity in Oxford.

“We need to forge real relationships, not just photo ops,” Tannehill said. “This will take building bridges and having hard conversations.”

East also spoke about the need for relationships in the community. He then talked about programs offered by the OPD for citizens to meet their local police officers.

“Our mission is to help each other and build relationships,” East said.

The event ended with additional prayers, hymns and statements by Sanford. Sanford said that he hopes to have another meeting this year to talk more about these issues.

“We have started a great adventure with leaders of the community in the eyes of the Lord,” Sanford said.