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Students, parents, teachers gather for prayer walk at Pine Prairie High

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First Baptist Church of Pine Prairie’s Pastor Keith Sheridan is seen above praying with his wife Suzanne and their daughter Maggie. The family prayed beside the classroom that Maggie will spend her time as a fourth grader learning in for the 2015-16 school year.  (Gazette photo by Elizabeth West)

By: ELIZABETH WEST
Managing Editor

PINE PRAIRIE - A group of about 70 parents, students, teachers, administrators and pastors from the Pine Prairie area gathered for a prayer walk last Wednesday night at Pine Prairie High’s campus. Pine Prairie Church of Christ Pastor J.J. Johnson, said, “It is encouraging to know that of all the places you could be tonight you have all chosen to be here.”
The purpose of the prayer walk was to pray for all of the students and employees at Evangeline Parish schools.
Before splitting up into three groups, all in attendance met in the school’s auditorium where Roxane West a member of First Baptist Church Pine Prairie welcomed the people.
During the welcome, Pine Prairie Councilman Quint West, who is also an assistant principal at Evangeline Central, stated, “I coached in this parish for years and going into each game I realized no matter what the outcome of a game is, in the end, we will always be winners because we have Jesus. Now I apply that to school because it can get hard for students and teachers sometimes but you will win and things will work out if you have faith in Jesus.”
Areas of the campus that the three groups prayed over were the high school building, elementary building and the school’s gymnasium. The groups rotated spots, allowing each group to pray over all three designated areas of the campus.
The public schools cannot themselves display any religious objects or have prayers written anywhere but it can have a Fellowship of Christian Students organization, which the Pine Prairie school does offer to its students. School Board President Wayne Dardeau said, “Students can pray at school. The students are allowed to assemble for prayer at school during school hours.”
Maggie Sheridan, a fourth grader at Pine Prairie, prayed beside her classroom with her parents First Baptist Church of Pine Prairie Pastor Keith Sheridan and Suzanne Sheridan. In her prayer the young girl asked for the Lord to look over “the children who misbehave in class and the children who don’t know God.”
The idea to do a prayer walk came about after Roxane West heard about one being held at the school where her son teaches. Trinity Baptist Church of Turkey Creek’s pastor Scott Tilton said, “This should be done every year before school starts.”

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