The National Day of Prayer held special meaning Thursday in Tabor City, a small Columbus County town reeling from a string of tragic deaths in recent weeks.
People from a variety of denominations gathered at St. Paul United Methodist Church at noon. Ministers from throughout the community led prayers for specific groups: government, churches, military, families, educators, media and business.
On the minds of many in attendance were recent events that rocked the community.
Over Easter weekend, Jaqwan McGill, a promising South Columbus High School football player, collapsed and died in a convenience store. The cause of death is still unknown.
Authorities say the suspect, Dion Julius Brown, killed Eugene McQueen in Tabor City early Tuesday morning before being shot to death during an exchange with law enforcement.
"With tragedies that happen, it brings hurt to everyone," said Billy Roy, minister at Old Zion Wesleyan Church. "There's been a lot of different emotions of sadness, emotions of fear."
Those emotions were on display during the church service, as Tabor City residents came together to fold their hands and bow their heads.
"It's long and overdue for the community to come together as one," said Daisy Brooks, pastor at Facts of Life Church. "To come together and call on God, because right now to get through what we're going through in this area, he's the only one that can see us through it."
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