Hand in hand, 150 people circled O'Rear Neighborhood Center at Douglass Park on Monday night and bowed their heads in prayer.
It was the last of a series of worship services that have been held at the park twice a week this summer in response to a deadly shooting there in June, and participants appealed to a higher power for help in overcoming the violence.
"The courage of God's people to deal with a circumstance in spite of their fears is what incites change," said Pastor Kenneth Golphin of Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The June 21 shooting, which happened during the Dirt Bowl basketball tournament, injured several people and led to the death of Kwame El-Amin, 42.
After that, the Dirt Bowl was moved from the park to Dunbar Community Center amid concerns from players, referees, coaches and citizens.
Police Sgt. Rahsaan Berry said the worship services, as well as several family movie nights, were organized in an effort "to get people back in the park."
Though Monday's prayer circle was the last of the "church in the park" events for this summer, it probably won't be the last, Berry said.
He noted that next summer is the park's 100th anniversary, which will create plenty of opportunities for celebrations there. A Halloween "trunk-or-treat" event also is being planned.
"It's not over," Berry said. "This is just the start. We just want people to get connected."
That seemed to be happening Monday night as people from differing denominational and racial backgrounds gathered.
"We saw the diversity of our community represented here tonight," said Pastor Richard Gaines of Consolidated Baptist Church. "It was good for people to come together. What happens here affects the rest of the city, and vice versa."
Bishop Doug Hahn of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington agreed.
He said he had encouraged members of Episcopal churches in the area to use Douglass Park for picnics and family time.
"We don't need to just stay inside the church walls," he said.
Quest Community Church Lead Pastor Justin McCarty lamented that he had never been to the park or brought his children there.
"That's the sad truth of our town," he said. "It's not the heart of God and it's not the heart of Jesus."
He told those in attendance that the violence that marred the park and made people fearful to come there was of a spiritual nature, and he prayed "that the spirit of God spring forth" at the park.
"We do not wage war against flesh and blood," he said. "There is a spiritual darkness at work that has sickened the hearts of people."
Several speakers stressed the role parents play in stopping the cycle of violence.
State Rep. George Brown said he began coming to the park to play baseball when he was 7 years old.
"We had our disagreements. We even had fights. But they weren't deadly like they are today," he said. "We have got to stop letting children dictate the situation and what's going to happen in our neighborhood."
The Rev. Larry Wilson of Bethel Baptist Church put it more bluntly.
"We called them whoopings," he said. "Things are not going to change in our community until we put the rod back in the hands of the parents.
"God said train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."