Mayor's Deliver Us From Drug Evils Prayer Struck International Accord

Updated 6 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor

Before the 11:05 a.m. Sunday , Sept. 8 moment of prayer for healing from addiction, protection of law enforcement, and the delivery of drug dealers from their life of crime, Mayor Steve Williams video prayer request had become an international mustard seed.

"Prayer knows no geographic boundaries. It's trickled out across the nation and around the world... We were having results before it happened," Williams told HNN. The Huntington Mayor's office has received response from India, Tel Aviv, Sri Lanka,  Hawaii,  and California.

Speaking of impact, the Mayor stressed that changes began after the video's mid-July release.  One response: People who had not had the opportunity previously  began talking about their faith and its impact on lives.   He believes that it demonstrated how "worried" and "affected" everybody is over drug issues. For believers and non-believers alike, "it was on the front of everybody's mind.' As he approached individuals of different faith traditions and religions, he found it "refreshing" that everyone "absolutely" supported his call to prayer.

"There's something special happening here. I don't know we will ever be able to quantify the effect. What's going to happen is we will continue moving on. In a few years we are going to look back to September 7, 2014 and say we can see the hand of God," Williams said.

He called it no coincidence that the prayer request occurred  at the same time that he asked  council for $500,000 for additional police officers.

 "Half a million dollars to move around is not an easy item. We found $350,000 that we expected to be spent on health insurance claims. It was easy to move that over. The other $150,000 was moved over from paving. I guarantee come next Spring, we will move the $150,000 back for paving." In fact, the fiscal year carry over (after encumbrances) was $700,000, the Mayor told council Monday night.

 During his prayer Sunday at Christ Temple, Williams stated that "drugs make people do bad things."  He explained many of those  caught in the addiction trap were at one time "active in the community and bright."  Stressing they should be punished for the criminal  acts drugs made them do, he also said they "should have a chance to be able to get their life whole again."

Addressing  drug dealers specifically, Williams believes that "they don't think they can do anything else. We need to demonstrate to them there is a way to be productive. If we are able to do that and they are able to turn into a productive manner, I want them in Huntington. We will have shown we can turn people's lives around."

On the other hand, for those unwilling to give up drugs,  the Mayor stands by his prayerful statement that they "be put in prison or go home ... and tomorrow would not be soon enough."






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