Prayer sessions held in Sanford after Zimmerman verdict

Sanford Pastors Connecting alliance hosts community prayer at noon

SANFORD, Fla. - Sanford pastors prayed with leaders and the community for the future of their city, two days after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Sanford Pastors Connecting, an alliance of faith-based leaders, organized the Monday event at the New Life Word Church.

Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett attended the prayer event with City Manager Norton Bonaparte and Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith. 

Smith said this is an opportunity for Sanford to change and move forward.

"We are at the threshold to write a new chapter for this community," he said. "The old chapter is gone."

Residents told Local 6 they're using the "pray day" as an avenue to express their disappointment in the verdict.

"It's putting out a mixed message to the United States of America: 'You can commit a crime and nothing will be done.' That's not good," said Starregina Lawrence.

The event is aimed at promoting continued peace and unity in the community.

"We have had to regain that trust we lost," Triplett said. "A lot of trust, not only with police department but through city hall and I think we've come a long way with those open conversations."

The SPC is an alliance of faith-based leaders from Sanford and Seminole County that formed following the Martin shooting. Members of the SPC attended the Zimmerman trial on a daily basis to witness the proceedings first-hand and serve as rumor control, according to a news release from the city.

"Our call is to pray for our community for the long-term unity, peace and strength of relationships.  Our churches welcome any and all to come and offer prayer to The Lord for ourselves, for all involved and for our community, " said Rev. Charlie Holt of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lake Mary.

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