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An estimated 300 people participated in Saturday’s March for Jesus, and inter-denominational gathering in Roanoke that was used as a public expression of faith for believers from throughout the county.
Roanoke resident Linda Frosolono was one of the organizors of the event, which began with a walk from the Roanoke Recreation Center down West Point Street and into downtown Roanoke, ending at the Main Street Theatre.
“As we started the march it was beautiful to see the large banner with ‘March For Jesus, Roanoke, Alabama’ leading our way,” Frosolono said. “Children carrying the hand held flags with, ‘I Love Jesus,’ ‘Faith over Fear,’ ‘Jesus The Way Truth The Life,’ and several brought their homemade signs and posters. They were singing and praising Jesus. It was Amazing!”
More participants who were unable to walk in the march joined the event at the theatre. The sky above the theatre quickly drew the attention of those gathered, when a rainbow appeared in a nearly cloudless sky.
“After prayers, we could hear several people shouting, ‘Look up at the rainbow in the sky behind us.’ It was like God smiled on our march and showed us he was pleased,” Frosolono said.
After the march Frosolono reached out to WBRC chief meteorologist Wes Wyatt, who provided this explanation for the colorful array in the sky.
“There were several rainbows and halo photos from the weekend,” Wyatt said. “It’s an optical phenomenon that occurs in the right atmospheric conditions. We had high clouds composed of ice overhead, this caused light to refract. As a result, we saw many sun halos, rainbow-like arcs, and optical features called sundogs.”
Following the march, an overflow crowd filled the theatre for a gospel singing featuring several local singers and groups.
The Hannah Family, Faith Youth Choir, Kelley Phillips, Keith Benefield, God’s Grace Mandy & Ilana Williams, Family & Friends, and Karen Norred all performed as part of the singing.
Local pastors Jonathan Hannah, Mark Phillips, Keith Benefield and Scott Whaley all spoke as well, and Marcie McCarley served as the announcer for the event.
Frosolono was extremely encouraged by the turnout and the participation of the community and hopes this year’s event will be the first of many.
“We want to shout out a big thank you to all that came out and made the first March for Jesus and the gospel singing a great success,” she said. “We are already discussing this event to become annual and looking forward to next year.”