Springfield Community Honors Michael Brown Through Interfaith Prayer Service

By Linda Ong | long@kolr10.com

Published 08/25 2014 05:38PM

Updated 08/25 2014 06:14PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- As family and friends said their final farewells to Michael Brown in St. Louis, people in the Ozarks also took time to remember the life of the young man.

On Monday morning, about 40 people gathered for an interfaith prayer service at Park Central Square in Springfield. It was one of many gatherings across the nation that took place in honor of Brown, the teenager who was shot by a Ferguson Missouri police officer.

Through song, prayer, and a moment of silence, people in Springfield gathered to honor Michael Brown.

"People of faith are gathering today to grieve the death of Michael Brown and to grieve the wider historic events that have led to the racialization of our culture," said Mark Struckhoff of Council of Churches of the Ozarks, who headed the service.

Gwendolyn Marshall left work to make it to the service.

"As a mother of two young men, I felt that it was very important that I stand in unity with those in Springfield," said Marshall.

Marshall said Brown's death and the protests that followed have opened up a necessary conversation.

"We should be able to come together in unity and everybody speak their mind and be heard and not criticized or judged," she said.

Struckhoff said what happened in Ferguson could take place anywhere across the country.

"We have some work to do to continue to resolve racial tension in every community in our country and so prayer is a good way to begin," said Struckoff.

And although Springfield is about 200 miles away from Ferguson, people like Roosevelt Baron said the service helps them feel connected and to stand united for justice.

"Seeing that I'm a black African American male, it was important to me because a lot of this is happening," said Baron. "Too many of, too many of the Michael Brown tragedies are happening and it's happening right before our eyes."

The Brown family called for the halt to protests today-- asking for peace from the community.
The Department of Justice and the state continue to work on their investigations of Brown's death.

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