ST. PETERSBURG — On Valentine’s Day when many people were waking up and making their loved ones a romantic breakfast, more than 80 people gathered in the parking lot of Greater Mt. Zion AME Church, 1045 16th Street S., St. Petersburg, and braved the cold to pray for the five failing schools all located in south St. Petersburg.
Sponsored by the Parent Support for Education Council, Inc., and Naomi and Titus 2 Covenant Alliance Ministries, Inc., the morning was filled with prayer and hope for Melrose, Campbell Park, Maximo, Lakewood and Fairmount Park Elementary Schools.
Prayers were sent to God asking for his assistance on the academics, discipline, attendance, family and school relationships and the safety and protection of both the students and the teachers.
The crowd was filled with pastors, educators, concerned citizens and even Florida State Representative Larry Ahern and wife Maureen braved the cold although none of the underperforming schools are in his district.
“This is not the end, it’s just the beginning, so don’t think we are just coming to pray and that’s it,” said Pastor Rainey.
Greater Mt. Zion is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Melrose Elementary, so the crowd marched in solidarity over to the school and encircled it in prayer.
Melrose Elementary administration was not aware of the prayer vigil, but Pastor Ellis Hodge believes that they will soon see the manifestation of the community’s prayers.
“These folks at this school don’t know that we did this and they don’t need to know, but you need to still believe that what we did here will have affect.”