The Belmont community came together to “pray for a miracle” for Jillian Ludwig who was shot in the head Tuesday while she was out for a walk.
“We gather as people who are suffering and yet we do not suffer without hope. So we gather in that conjunction to call before God. Remember our colleague, our friend and all those who suffer this day,” said President Greg Jones.
Hundreds of students and faculty gathered in a moment of consideration and prayer for Ludwig beneath the Bell Tower to console as a community.
The service was held as a way for students to process the event and come together. The service included remarks by the university president, the provost, a local pastor and Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell.
Jones led the service and said, “events like this can bring us together. They can be occasions to build bridges, rather than making us bitter they can make us better as we cry out to God.”
O’Connell thanked the university for its hospitality in he city and said “today is our chance to stand with you.”
“This is not a moment when words actually have tremendous value. It is our connections with one another and so to see so many people gathered here today is itself a bright moment even in the sunshine,” he said.
He encouraged students to lean on each other.
“We know that it is impossible to feel safe when any of us are not safe in some way. And that means right now. We have to find strength in one another,” he said.
The Rev. John Faison, of Watson Grove Baptist Church, prayed with the crowd, as students wept, bowed their heads and put their arms around each other.
“Tragedy reminds us what really matters - that squabbles and petty disagreements don't really mean that much. It comes down to it. Faith matters. Family Matters. Friendships matter, people matter. Communities matter,” he said.
This article was written by Braden Simmons