In a world filled with war and threats of terror, Earl Williams and the congregation of First Baptist Church of Evans want to provide a sanctuary of solace and a place of prayer.
"I think most Christians don't feel that we have to be in a certain place or time to pray," said Williams. "But there is something, I think, about making an effort to concentrate on prayer and things of God to get away from the noise and hubbub all around us."
On Nov. 8, the church, located at the corner of Washington and Belair roads, began offering its sanctuary to those who wanted to meditate or pray. The church will remain open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each Thursday.
"We were hoping that persons who work in the area could come during their lunch hour," Williams said of the designated time.
The idea to offer the service began before Sept. 11, but Williams said it has taken on a new meaning.
"I think we certainly need to pray for our leaders - not only in our country, but in all countries," he said. "And we need to pray, as difficult as it is, for our enemies."
Phillip Hedgecoth, the church's minister of music and education, said the plan for opening the sanctuary was pushed up.
"When the terrorist attacks came, we thought it was a timely thing and that we would go ahead and move up the project," he said.
Members will be present during the times the church is open, but there will be no official service.
"There's no program," he said. "It's just a quiet time for people to stay as long as they wish. And if it works, we'll just keep on doing it."
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