Welsh holds vigil to give town hope - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Welsh holds vigil to give town hope

WELSH, LA (KPLC) -

Tonight the town of Welsh held a prayer vigil in hopes of setting the citizens back in the right direction.

Welsh was the site of strong unification Sunday night after unsolved murders and other crimes divided the town.

Members of various churches in the area joined together at the first Presbyterian Church of Welsh to pray for the citizens, the law enforcement officers and the town.

The scene was much different just weeks ago. The town of Welsh was dealing with another murder and attempted murder, but Sunday was just the opposite.

It was standing room only as over one hundred citizens joined together at the church to pray about the recent crimes disturbing their town.

"I think it will make a difference, which is what we hoped would happen," said Revered Elizabeth McGehee. "It's a big problem and one prayer meeting isn't going to solve it. It isn't even going to make a dent unless people do more than just sit in church and pray."

Church leaders from Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church and New Jerusalem Baptist Church helped lead the vigil alongside Reverend McGehee. Jim Wright, chairman of the Concerned Citizens Committee hopes Sunday's vigil will give the town hope.

"Our goal tonight was, I believe, was to bring to the forefront the unity that we have in faith and the power of that in terms of bringing us together as a group," said Wright.

McGehee knows the town is a long way from solving the crime issues, but she hopes they are taking steps in the right direction.

"I think it's a step towards unity," said McGehee. "I don't think we're there. I don't think we solved anything. I don't think it's a miracle kind of thing. I just think it's one step on the journey."

She also says recently the town has been the site of despair, and she has a message for all of the citizens of Welsh.

"I hope the meeting tonight dispelled that to some extent, especially for people in the black community," said McGehee. "They need to know we stand with them, and that we care, that life isn't isolated into a black community and a white community. It's one community."

Within the last year, the town of Welsh has three unsolved murders: one last February when Robert King was murdered outside of his mother's home; one just months later as Lorenzo Horne was shot while babysitting three children inside a home; and the most recent one just last month with Denzel Lampkin was shot while riding in a car.

Lampkin's murder occurred on the same night as another shooting and a suspicious house fire which is still under investigation.

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