Originally published by LAFocusNewspaper.com, written by Lisa Collins.
Over 400 pastors, community leaders and residents turned out for a Citywide Prayer Service for Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas in the wake of his 20-count federal indictment by a grand jury last week.
The two-hour long service—held at Southern Missionary Baptist Church—featured music, prayer, scripture readings and was punctuated by the heartfelt exhortations of those like Apostle Beverly “Bam” Crawford, Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, Baptist Ministers Conference president, K.W. Tulloss and Bishop Charles Blake in support of the Councilman and his family, who were not in attendance.
“We come together tonight to say Lord, we need some mercy and some help,” said Bishop Blake, who dubbed the Councilman’s dilemma as a very significant crisis that has confronted our community.
Blake spoke of being able to call on Ridley-Thomas countless times over the last 30 years to assist with the challenges of the church and surrounding community.
“He was there to show love and respect and to counsel and to guide, and after he came to me over these thousand times over the last 30 or 40 years, I would not dare allow this event to pass without me being here,” Blake said.
“What does my presence mean at this meeting here tonight? It means I love Mark Ridley-Thomas,” he continued. “After doing so much for our city over so many years, there is no way we should allow him to have a challenge like this and not have the [faith] family to gather together…”
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