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As Stockton struggles, churches hold drive-thru prayers


The news in Stockton hasn't exactly been great lately: City leaders are considering filing for bankruptcy protection and Stockton's homicide rate soared last year, prompting local police to erect billboards calling it "the second most dangerous city in California."

But over the weekend, in the midst of a citywide effort to crack down on crime, Stockton church leaders hoped a little extra prayer would help.

Ten churches scattered throughout Stockton participated in Saturday's drive-thru prayer event.

"Jesus loves you so much, c'mon pray with us. … We're just vessels, we can do nothing without God," announced attendees.

"Our whole purpose is to know the need of Stockton, to recognize there has been bad press for Stockton. But we believe we can make an impact, that there's a difference that can be made," said Larry Rust, lead pastor of Calvary First, an Assemblies of God congregation.

Rust and his church organized the event. He believes drive-thru prayer can change people's lives.

"People would attest that when they walk away there's tears in their eyes, they're feeling good about where their situations are. … So when we say prayer's the answer, we believe that, and we've seen the results of that here," Rust said.

In a city under so much stress, congregants of the 10 churches said they wanted Stockton residents to know that someone cares.


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