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Townsend community prays for the school system ahead of the start of the school year

TOWNSEND, Tennessee (WVLT) – The community of Townsend prepared for the upcoming school year with a day of prayer for students, teachers and staff from all schools in Blount Co.

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

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

Parents, pastors and other community members have witnessed tragedies across the country, fearing it could happen in Blount County.

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

People gathered in a circle at the main entrance to Townsend Elementary, some circling the school, putting their hands on the classroom doors, praying for each room.

Jeff Dockery, who is the pastor of Destiny’s Gate, holds a staff during prayer. He said it was supposed to show him that he was praying with authority.

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

As the school year quickly approached in Blount County, Townsend residents wanted to eliminate all concerns about the school system.

“It makes a huge difference that the community comes together and has community support. We also want the school to know that those who are not parents are concerned about our school and our school,” Dockery said.

Wigington said there were about seven or eight churches in Townsend, but it all felt like a big community.

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