Prayer vigil held at Florence School District 1 office

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A prayer vigil was held outside of the Florence School District One office Wednesday night.

“We pray for those that are administrating and leading our school system,” said community activist James Williams. “We ask that you would inspire and illuminate their hearts and their minds. That they might know how to lead and that they might know how to encourage and inspire.”

School board member Alexis Pipkins was at the gathering. He said they came together to pray for everyone in the community and school system, from school bus drivers to cafeteria workers.

“We are praying for the school board, we are praying for the leadership, we’re praying for our children,” said Pipkins.

He said holding the prayer vigil at the Florence School District office made the most sense because of recent issues within the board.

“We picked this place because there are concerns as it relates to injustice, but at the end of the day when injustice has been given; love, prayer, peace, and joy are extended,” said Pipkins

The Florence School District One board has experienced tension since Glenn Odom resigned in the beginning of October. Odom served on the school board for more than 25 years and said he resigned because he moved from the area that he represented. However, the district said Odom sent an email using racially insensitive words referring to other board members.

“We’re praying for people to come together, we’re praying for racial harmony,” said Williams.

Pipkins said prayer unites communities and that it’s important to pray in difficult situations.

“You pray for those who despitefully misuse you, you pray for those that don’t know what they’re doing, and you pray for those who do know what they’re doing,” Pipkins said.

He said he wants to see community members come together at a time where the district needs it and, at the end of the day, it’s about the children.

“Whisper a prayer for our school district and for your leadership so that protection and right decisions will be made for our children and for our families and for our communities,” he said.

Prayer vigils will be held every Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. outside of the Florence School District One office.