Juneteenth walk unites hundreds in prayer

Published 8:16 pm Friday, June 19, 2020

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A faith walk from Metropolitan AME Zion to Spring Garden Missionary Baptist Church united hundreds of people in prayer Friday evening. The event also celebrated Juneteenth, holiday commemorating the emancipation of the last African American slaves in Texas after the Civil War.

With a crowd close to 200 strong, participants prayed and sang songs as they moved through the heart of Washington. The event, organized by the Beaufort County NAACP, drew participants from all colors and ages, united in prayer for a better world.

That was exactly the goal Aaron Lewis, president of the Beaufort County NAACP and pastor of Spring Garden, had in mind when organizing the event.

“My goal first, is to bring people together and to get to meet some of the other pastors in the area who I have not met,” Lewis said. “Once we pastors start talking, we can bring in some local officials and start working together as a unit. The keyword there is unity.”

Lewis and his wife Angela, who is also a pastor, would like to see people come together across racial divides to improve Beaufort County for everyone. Lewis said he one day hopes to build a “rainbow church” consisting of people of all races and backgrounds, united in worshiping God.

“11 a.m. on Sunday mornings is the most segregated hour in America,” Angela Lewis added. “So when we all can come together, as Christians, and begin to develop strategies about how we can all work together, then we can build the community together.”

In addition to a number of local pastors, a majority of the Washington City Council, one Beaufort County Commissioner and one member of the Beaufort County Board of Education all participated in the walk. Aaron Lewis said that he was very pleased with the turnout and the “cultural mix” of Friday’s event.

“I want to see what we can do to rebuild the community,” Aaron Lewis said. “I see some things that need to be fixed up and I want to know who we can go to when we need to get things done. But we can only do it by working together.”

Additional photos from Friday’s walk can be found here.