|Updated: 2/06/2012 10:11 am
||Published: 2/05/2012 9:37 pm
They came by the hundreds lining the sidewalks with prayer cards in hand.
At least a dozen churches gathered for a prayer walk near the construction site of the Red Clay Casino. The Kialegee tribe is building the casino on the southwest corner of 129th and 111th in Broken Arrow.
The hope is the tribe would build something more beneficial to the area like a hospital or a clinic for families, rather than a casino. On Sunday, they asked God for a miracle.
With the blast of the horn hundreds lined the sidewalk. With heads bowed and eyes closed, they came to pray for wisdom and courage for those with influential authority.
Gary Harber is the pastor of St. James United Methodist Church. He’s seen how gambling can tear a family apart.
"There have been fathers and husbands that got caught up in gambling and I'm sure there are other too and their family lost their house and their marriage in divorce, now that doesn't happen to everyone,” says Harber.
Plans for a new casino have sparked widespread controversy with many saying there are more beneficial ways to earn a profit.
"There could be a food distribution center of some kind, there could be a clinic that would help single parent moms and kids,” says Harber.
"There has been a lot of broken families and broken homes because of gaming,” says April Slezak.
“Gambling debt is not something that a lot of people talk about. A lot of people feel foolish for having ever gotten there,” says Pastor Chris Buskirk.
The hope is a solution could be reached that would benefit the surrounding community and the Kialegee tribe as well.
"God is in control of everything and I just feel like in my heart, He can stop this,” says Carolyn Schutte.
Many were handed prayer cards with this scripture that reads: Matthew 18:19 “If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by my father in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.”
After thirty minutes of quiet prayer, the horn sounded again, bringing a resolution for now. The prayer walk was very calm in nature with many praying silently or quietly together. One person did show up to protest the walk by bringing a poster and shouting profanity. Overall, the day’s event was peaceful.
The Red Clay Casino is currently under construction and is expected to open for business in late March or early April.