Community prayer planned for Aug. 5

With children heading back to schools in a few days and following a recent spate of fatal accidents, a community prayer event has been planned for Aug. 5 to be held simultaneously at seven locations in Liberty County and two sites in Hardin County.

Organizer Leslie Shirley, a member of New Life Assembly of God Church of Batson, believes the community needs to come together to pray for an end to the tragedies and for God’s mercy and blessings for all motorists.

Shirley said the one-week period in July where nine people were killed in fatal accidents in Liberty County in a week’s time was the tipping point for her.

“You have to stop whatever influences are coming into your community before they get there,” Shirley said. “I feel strongly that if we have enough prayer points in our community, we can make a difference. After we had all those deaths in a week, I was driving home and thinking about how we all say we are praying for the families of the accident victims. We can say we are praying but this needs to expand to the entire community.”

She hopes those who attend will not only pray for the prevention of future tragedies and those who suffered losses, but for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, as those people are more prone to be involved in a fatal crash. She also wants prayers of protection offered for people struggling with mental health, for students, parents/guardians, staff and faculty of local school districts, and first responders, as they see these tragedies up close and far too often.

The locations where prayer groups plan to meet, along with the pastors and spiritual leaders who will be there, are:

  • The east side of the Trinity River bridge in Liberty – Pastor Jose Flores with Community Church of Christ in Dayton
  • Main St. at US 90 in Liberty – Pastor Jerry Scott with Open House Ministries in Liberty
  • US 90 at FM 770 in Raywood – Brother Phil with Riding for Christ Cowboy Church in Raywood
  • Fuel Max at FM 834 at FM 770 in Daisetta – Kitty Key, a member of H-D Prayer Community
  • West Hardin High School – Brother Bill Campbell with New Life Assembly of God Church of Batson
  • Kountze High School – Sister Arlena Haynie with New Life Assembly of God Church of Batson
  • Batson four-way stop – Calvary Tabernacle
  • Moss Hill four-way at The Lighthouse Church – Pastor Allen Owens with The Lighthouse Church of Moss Hill
  • Hardin High School – Pastor Connie Tousha with Centerpoint Ministries

Everyone in the community is invited to pick a location near them. Prayer groups will gather at 7 p.m. with prayers kicking off at 7:10 p.m.

Shirley said she is still hoping to hear from ministers and churches in the communities of Dayton, Cleveland, Tarkington and north Liberty County.

“If anyone wants to join in or if there is a pastor who will lead the prayer, we would be glad to have them be part of our event,” she said.

For questions, contact Leslie Shirley by emailing

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