Ocracoke Walks for Peace

Mary Bryant
Ocracoke Walks for Peace
Ocracoke makes a statement against violence.

On a hot summer Sunday night, almost 70 people came together to show that they are against violence. The group met at the Ocracoke Lighthouse and walked to the Methodist church on School Road. Candles were passed out among the crowd even though the sun had not fully gone down. The walkers ranged in age from two to over 70! A few golf carts followed behind. The walk itself was pleasant with a nice breeze and no storm clouds threatening. We were able to witness a gorgeous sunset. Bonus! Near the end of the group, where I was, we sang "This Little Light of Mine."

Ocracoke Walks for Peace

Taking the lead were both the island’s pastors, Reverend Ivey Belch from the Assembly of God Church and Reverend Richard Bryant from the United Methodist Church. Once we arrived at the church, we went in with our candles glowing and took seats in the pews. What followed was a moving, emotional display of love and support.

Hyde County Deputies Jason Daniels and Rob King were called up to the altar to sit in special chairs. The group was invited to come forward to pray and lay hands on the deputies. What  a beautiful image. Deputy Jason thanked everyone in attendance and all of Ocracoke for their support. He said that Ocracoke is a special place and how blessed he feels to serve our little island.

Pastor Bryant invited anyone who wanted to share a word with the congregation. Several people had moving things to say but the most profound to me was little Essie O’Neal who said “Love always wins over hate.” I talked with her mother Nancy Leach and she told me that it was very important to Essie who always cheers on love. Essie is wise beyond her 7 years.

The night ended with a beautiful version of Amazing Grace sung with feeling. It was an unforgettable night.

Ocracoke Walks for Peace

Want to make a difference?

  • Donate blood
  • Search for a legitimate fundraising site for families of the dead and injured.
  • Talk about things with those around you. If you hear someone make a racist or hateful comment against anyone, take a stand and let them know that this isn’t okay. It’s the only way that things will ever change.
  • Write or call your lawmakers.
  • Pray or send positive thoughts.
  • Take advice from Essie and love, not hate.

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