Ashtabula Church Finds Hope through Healing Service - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Ashtabula Church Finds Hope through Healing Service

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The songs that filled Hiawatha Church of God in Christ echoed the resilience of a faith community who suffered a tragedy, on what was supposed to be their most joyous day of the year.

"We are bible believing people and we have quite a bit in the bible about healing," said pastor Reverend David Howard, Jr.

He planned a healing service just one week after an Easter Sunday shooting outside his church left one man dead, killed by his own son.

"We're trying to get across that there is hope help and healing for those wounded spirits," said Revered Howard. 

His parishioners have been receptive of that message, to overcome the fear felt on that horrifying day.

"I was one of the members that was down in the first, second and third row that had multiple children underneath me at that time," said parishioner Darrell Patterson, who himself is the father of young children. His first instinct was to protect.

"Children were crying... not understanding, confused," Patterson said. "It's very important to give the message of healing to the children to strengthen their faith to allow them to know that we can move forward beyond this."

The Easter tragedy touched more than just parishioners at Hiawatha church, and members of  neighboring churches shared in the healing service, showing their support as one faith community.

"Different churches are praying for us holding us up in prayer calling us coming by and supporting," said Kimberly Adams, a parishioner of 20 years. 

"That warms my heart," said Patterson, "it lets me know that there is still hope in the world and hope is not lost today."

The outpouring of support has come from far outside Ashtabula, as well.

"I've gotten calls from all over the United States in regards to this," said Reverend Howard. "We're gonna make it."

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