Gathering planned to pray for Greenville

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Greenville native Girard Warren is organizing an event at Garfield Park called 100 Men in Prayer. The gathering scheduled on Feb. 24 at 12 p.m., is aimed at inspiring community members to pray for their city. 

Although women are welcome to join, the focus is on encouraging men to unite for a community-wide prayer, not a service, for the future of the community.

Warren, who is the son of Indian Hill AME Zion Church Pastor Gloria Warren, emphasized the significant role religion has played in his life.

Email newsletter signup

“My grandfather preached for 40 years; my mom is a preacher,” Warren said. “I grew up in the church.” 

Inspired by his upbringing, Warren aims to bring men together in leading the community in prayer by drawing from his own childhood experiences of gathering monthly on church steps to pray for passersby.

“When I was young, during the warm months we would all stand out on the steps of my church, Butler Chapel AME Zion Church, and pray,” Warren said. “We just prayed for whoever rode or walked by.”

Discouraged by recent trials within the community and led by their faith, Warren and his mother set out to create an event to unite the community and draw strength from the Lord.

“My mother and I were talking about what we could do to help this community, and we came up with this idea… to let the men come together and lead this community in prayer,” Warren said. “We want to start a movement where people can see our presence.” 

Response from the community has been positive, Warren said, with many expressing interest in attending or remotely participating in the event. Warren’s mother, Gloria, expressed pride in her son’s initiative, highlighting the importance of guiding the next generation of young men. 

“Men are called to be the head, the head of our community and home,” she said. “Our men need to rise up and show our boys how to be men. How to be loving, how to be giving.”

Organizers are optimistic about the event’s turnout but Gloria emphasized that every prayer counts, no matter the number of participants. 

“This is God’s work,” she said. “We just have to keep planning and pushing, doing our job. Even two people is a success, and we’ll just keep trying.”