DAYTON, Ohio—Maranatha Worship Centre founder and pastor Bishop Truman Martin says, yes, it has been a trying week for Dayton residents.
- Dayton endured devastating Tornados in May and a deadly shooting last week
- At various congregations the message was one of peace, forgiveness and hope
- Sense of community is helping people move forward
Most remain distressed, despondent and confused—but his message is one of peace and hope over despair.
Pastor Martin says our creator gives us his grace in moments like this.
“We can sense God's power, that it's something on the inside of us that rises up to the challenge to bring hope to people in the midst of despair, that God is able to bring light out of darkness, and life out of death,” said Martin.
Across town at St. George's Episcopal Church, nine names were read, each victims of the mass shooting in the popular Oregon District.
Although the church is eight miles away from that tragic scene, it's still very connected to many communities in the Miami Valley.
Reverend Benjamin Phillips says what we do and say in this life does matter.
“We may look to the world to come, but that doesn't mean we're off the hook for ignoring this one. We are accountable in this life, and what we do and say carries weight with how we treat one another and the hate, the anger, the violence that inevitably comes about in this life,” said Phillips.
Although Dayton has been knocked down in recent months with the rash of devastating tornados in May and last week's mass shooting—its residents continue to be resilient.
“We are coming together, unified in the faith. We stand alone with prayer, we stand on the word of God. And we're just grateful and thankful that we have a community that is loved in that kind of degree,” said Trotwood resident John Pope.
And while the healing process may take some time, it’s the sense of community across the Miami Valley that gives people hope moving forward.
“To love one another, to care for one another, that's what community is all about,” said Phillips.