Townsend community prays for school system before school starts

Blount County Schools begin the school year on Aug. 1, and the Townsend community is praying for safety.
Blount County Schools begin the school year on Aug. 1, and the Townsend community is praying for safety.
Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 10:35 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 12:24 AM EDT
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TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Townsend community prepared for the upcoming school year with a day of prayer for the students, teachers and staff of all Blount Co. schools.

Townsend is a town of about 600 people. Dozens gathered at Townsend Elementary to offer their prayers to the school system.

“These people are up here teaching our children and our grandchildren and it’s vital that and it’s vital that we cover them to get that good start,” Church of the Cove pastor Darren Wigington said.

Parents, pastors, and others in the community have seen tragedies nationwide with fear it could happen in Blount County.

“We’ve been very blessed with the way things have gone here. It’s a small town, but Uvalde wasn’t that big of a town, either,” Townsend resident Chris Taylor said.

People gathered in a circle at the front entrance of Townsend Elementary with some going around the school putting their hands on the classroom doors, praying for each room.

Jeff Dockery, who is the pastor at Destiny’s Gate, holds a staff during prayer. He said it’s meant to show him praying with authority.

“It keeps me centered. It keeps me focused. It reminds me that our prayers make a difference,” Dockery said.

As the school year rapidly approached in Blount County, people in Townsend wanted to take away all concerns for the school system.

“It makes a huge difference to have the community come together and the support of the community. We also want the school to know that those who are not parents of students have a concern about our school and over our school,” Dockery said.

Wigington said there are about seven or eight churches in Townsend, but it all feels like one big community.

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