Updated: Jul 22
BATON ROUGE, La. - In the face of escalating crime in Baton Rouge during the pandemic, one local pastor, Bishop Dwight Pate of Church Point Ministries, has taken a bold step to restore peace and safety to the city. He has locked himself inside a prayer room since the beginning of May, praying for divine intervention to heal the community and reduce crime rates.
The prayer room, originally established in the 90s during a previous surge in crime and drug-related issues, now stands as a symbol of hope for a similar miracle today. Bishop Pate firmly believes that prayer can transform the hearts of those responsible for violence.
"For this city's troubles, the solution lies within the church, through the teachings and love of God's people. I truly believe that prayer can change the hearts of those individuals contributing to the violence in the town," said Bishop Pate.
The pastor's mission center, once a used car lot purchased in 1981, has become the epicenter of his dedication to the community. Over the years, it has been opened at various times for different causes. In 1994, Bishop Pate spent almost eight months secluded in the prayer room, offering holy oil to those in need. In 2000, he opened the room again for five months to address the pain and suffering of the elderly. Now, it is open again, serving as a sanctuary for the city.
Remarkably, instead of immediately engaging with others, the pastor began preaching to an audience of 50 empty chairs. However, word quickly spread, and soon these chairs were filled with people seeking refuge from drugs and prostitution.
Pate shared, "I used to put 50 empty chairs out here on the lot and preach to them all day until it became one of the major outreaches in this city. People came from all walks of life, finding deliverance from drugs, alcohol, marriage problems, and sickness."
Drawing from his 44 years of ministry experience, Bishop Pate firmly believes in the mysterious ways in which God operates. He foresees a powerful transformation movement among the city's most violent individuals, with peace, joy, victory, forgiveness, and love replacing the cycle of crime.
To heal the community, Bishop Pate plans to distribute 200,000 bottles of holy oil to residents throughout Baton Rouge. As for when he intends to leave the prayer house, he remains resolute that the timing is in God's hands.
The pastor's unwavering dedication and his belief in the power of prayer have captured the attention and admiration of many, with the entire city eagerly awaiting the positive change he hopes to bring about.