Perkins Hosts Prayer Vigil, Dean Hill Issues Statement in Response to Dallas Violence
Perkins School of Theology hosted a campus-wide midday prayer service July 8 in Perkins Chapel in response to the July 7 violence in downtown Dallas. Four Dallas police officers and a DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) officer were shot and killed at the conclusion of a peaceful protest attended by a number of Perkins students and alumni/ae. In addition, seven other officers and two civilians were wounded following the demonstration against recent shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.
SMU Chaplain Steve Rankin greeted the community gathering. During the service, prayers for healing were offered by Dr. Mark Stamm, Professor of Worship at Perkins School of Theology. Dr. Stamm also offered prayers for the family and colleagues of missing SMU police officer Mark McCullers, who was swept away by flooding in the Turtle Creek area July 5.
Dean Craig C. Hill addressed more than 100 members of the SMU community who gathered for the vigil. Christian Watkins, an M.Div. student at Perkins who was present at the July 7 demonstration, and Rev. Connie Nelson, Director of Public Affairs and Alumni/ae Relations at Perkins, served as lectors.
The service was one of many held across Dallas at noon on July 8, including an interfaith service held at Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas.