Tulsa goes to church Sunday to pray

Monday, September 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Sunday marked the 6th day since terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. For many, it was also the Sabbath. And those people headed to houses of worship for services and prayer vigils, searching for comfort and needing to be uplifted after so much sadness.

"Make us a blessing I pray." Praying seems to be what a lot of Americans are doing these days. Church members at Evangelistic Temple say in light of the recent tragedy in New York, more and more people are coming to church. Paul Craft, “I think that the church is going to be the focal point for quite sometime now." Senior Pastor Dan Beller says attendance was up in all three Sunday morning services.

Church members and visitors were moved to tears as songs of freedom, and hope rang out through the sanctuary. Beller says when tragedy strikes many people turn to religion for answers. “When there is an emergency people stop and say wait a minute we better stop and get god to help us." Some Christians say the real message isn't when or how people pray, but whether the government will allow prayer back in the mainstream of society. Virginia Hopkins, "I think it's time people fall on their knees, call on God and let God back in the churches, back in their homes, back in the schools. Especially back in the government."

1972 Olympian Madeline Manning Mims attends Evangelistic Temple. She says she's seen the heartache caused by terrorism during those games. But she's never seen such a reaction from people searching for God. "I think today being Sunday, there are many churches being filled and many who are crying out to god who is our hope and our future."

So while the American flag drapes a place of worship, the people who pray there hope a nation in mourning knows where they can seek relief. "Thank God if things to go bad people do know where to go back to God."