Small Topeka congregation begins monthly ‘prayer walks’ to take back neighborhood

Tshlaine Webster (center) said a prayer Saturday as members of CTV Hi-Crest Church prepared to go on a “Prayer Walk” through southeast Topeka’s Hi-Crest community. (Tim Hrenchir/The Capital-Journal)

The Bible verse Joshua 1:3 says, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.”

 

A small congregation in southeast Topeka’s Hi-Crest neighborhood is drawing upon that verse as it kicks off “Project Joshua 1:3.”

The campaign uses prayer and visibility to “take back the neighborhood,” said Shampayne Lloyd and Chad Phillips, co-pastors of CTV Hi-Crest Church.

Members of that church went on a “prayer walk” Saturday through the Hi-Crest neighborhood, where the church holds services at 5 p.m. each Saturday inside 304 S.E. Pinecrest.

Lloyd and Phillips encouraged other churches to join CTV Hi-Crest in going on regular prayer walks through their own neighborhoods.

They asked anyone interested in joining them to go to their Facebook page at “CTV Hi-Crest” or email them at ctvhicrest@gmail.com.

CTV Hi-Crest Church was formed last year as part of the “Christ The Victor” church planting movement, which starts congregations in underserved areas.

A message on the chalkboard in the building where the congregation met Saturday encouraged people to “come stressed,” “get blessed” and “leave at rest.”

CTV Hi-Crest consists of people from different denominations and socio-economic backgrounds with different viewpoints, Lloyd said.

But members agree it is important to respond to the rash of violence Topeka has recently seen, including a triple homicide March 12 and the shooting on March 5 of five people, one of whom died.

Lloyd said she feared Topeka was once again becoming like it was in the 1990s, when the city saw homicides in record numbers and many parents were afraid to let their children go outside. The city set its homicide record in 1994, with 28.

Phillips said members of CTV Hi-Crest Church consider it their responsibility to respond to the recent acts of violence with compassion, love and visibility.

Topeka temperatures were in the mid 60s shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday as church members prayed in front of the building where they meet. Seven of them, including three children, then set out on their prayer walk.

Though Saturday’s walk came on the third Saturday of the month, Lloyd said the church plans in the future to hold its prayer walks on the last Saturday of each month.

Contact Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.

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