24-hour prayer vigil held for those affected by Warren Funeral Chapel closure

Saturday, September 20, 2008 | 5:36 p.m. CDT; updated 7:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday, September 20, 2008

COLUMBIA - Worshipers joined together at the Second Missionary Baptist Church on Friday and Saturday for a 24-hour prayer vigil, followed by a worship service and dinner, for those affected by the closure of the Warren Funeral Chapel.

The Warren Funeral Chapel closed in July after a lawsuit was filed against it, which charged that the funeral chapel was improperly storing bodies, among other health code violations.

The 12 pastors invited to the vigil, at 401 E Broadway, each had two hours to lead the congregation. There was no structured preaching; everyone was invited to pray or sing as he or she pleased. About 80 people attended the vigil Friday night, with fewer participants on Saturday.

The Rev. Clyde L. Ruffin of Second Missionary Baptist Church began the vigil. He led the congregation in a free-form mixture of song, prayers, reverent silence and readings from the Bible. Ruffin's prayers addressed the need to unify the community and communicated his belief that God will restore the goodness of the community. He told the congregation to pray for local, statewide and national leaders.

"Even though our community seems to be falling part, we know it is in (God's) hands," Ruffin said in prayer. "In order for the community to become unified, the churches have to become unified, and the leaders of churches have to be unified."

At one point in the vigil, people began to pray aloud; Renetta Brock's voice rose above the rest. She asked God to let Christians be an example to the world.

"My goal here is to pray and to uplift and to take back our community," Brock said.

Brock said that she was not personally affected by the events surrounding the closure of Warren Funeral Chapel but that she does have the Warrens in her prayers.

"Whatever God wants to happen will happen, and there is no need to make judgment calls here," she said.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


s s September 21, 2008 | 9:49 p.m.

I have personally known the Warren's since 1977. They are good people. They ran a good business helping the comunity.

We need to look at all the things they have given to this community. I'm not or is anyone else able to pass judgment. Not evrything we read in the paper or here on the news is 100% true. In time Im sure the whole story will come out. Let us take a hard look at other funeral home business. are they perfect? Donot they take advantage of loved ones in their time of need. More prayer is needed. Healing for everyone.

(Report Comment)
Leroy Jenkems September 22, 2008 | 12:50 p.m.

How could someone in the mortuary business for decades not be aware of the state program that pays for indigent funerals?

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock September 22, 2008 | 3:32 p.m.

For both SS and Leroy,

The Missourian policy on comments states in part:

"All Columbia Missourian publications are committed to a policy of transparency and openness. In that spirit, your first and last name will be attached to each post you make. You may note that this is consistent with our policy on using anonymous sources in our news stories: An anonymous source may only be used in the rare cases and only with the approval of a top editor."

Please consider registering again under a new username with your real name. Or, if you would like, I can change your account to include your real name. If you'd like to do that, e-mail me at


Jake Sherlock
Opinion editor

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.