The Spiritual Side

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Prayer services at local churches last Sept. 11. And the need by people to deal with what happened brought them to church in the Sundays to follow. At least until the first snows of winter fell.

"They needed that immediate security that comes from being a community of faith," says Reverand Kent Boone of the North Parkersburg Baptist Church, "and we found that, at least for many people, that was worth coming back for."

"That was sustained for us for a long time, or at least until the weather began to get cold."

While there was a drop in attendance in the weeks after 9-11, local ministers believe the public did get a spiritual connection after the attacks on America.

"We want to look back and remember what happened a year ago," says Reverand Rich McClure of the First Baptist Church of Parkersburg. "But, at the same time, look forward and hope we'll find something to hang on to, something that will give us some hope, in moving forward."

Pastor McClure says attendance at his church has increased 33 percent in the past year. But he says that's primarily the result of an effort by the church, which began in the summer of 2001.