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Churches, mayor are teaming up

Reaching out to faith-based community

Churches throughout Ironton are joining up with the city’s new mayor to reach out to a higher power for help.

Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith sent out a letter to all city churches in mid December, asking them to work with her in “moving Ironton forward.”

“We understand we can’t do it alone,” the letter states. “I believe God has called us to this place for such a time as this. As Christ fed the multitude with two fish and five loaves of bread. I believe he can perform the same type of miracle in Ironton.”

She then enumerated five areas she is asking the churches to pray for: all elected officials; more economic development so residents can provide for their families; release from addiction to alcohol, drugs, pornography and gambling; young people and the issues they face; and restoring honor and respect to the city.

“When we received Katrina’s letter, I was impressed by her desire for us to address the welfare of the community from the spiritual side,” the Rev. Sallie Schisler of Christ Episcopal Church, said. “Many of her requests are things in the Episcopal church we pray for on a regular basis. It is nice to know many other denominations in the city will be adding their own petitions.”

At Sunday’s prayer meeting at First Baptist Church of Ironton, the congregation added Keith’s request to their nightly service.

“I think it is a great thing, working together to make the city, state and nation the best,” Eric Barnes, church pastor said. “I think we need help. We are happy to partner with the city and mayor.”

As a Christian, Keith said she felt drawn to call on the faith-based community to help her with her new administration.

Agreeing with her approach as well is Caleb LaFond of First United Methodist Church of Ironton.

“I have talked with her a few times and just based on what I picked up, it seems to be her heartbeat,” LaFond said. “The church does have a role in the community, especially with all these issues. I am not surprised she sent the letter.”