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DES MOINES, Iowa — Outside of the First Baptist Church of Greater Des Moines is a prayer wall. It is designed for people to request prayer and messages of hope. 

“We engaged in some brainstorming to think of how we could approach church life this fall that would encourage our folks to know that they still have a meaningful, tangible connection to one another, even in times when we couldn’t gather together for in-person worship,” said First Baptist Church of Greater Des Moines Family Pastor Emily Beltrame. “The prayer wall was one of the things we came up with.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the pews inside of the church have been left empty. Pastor Beltrame believes the prayer wall is a way to remain connected to members of the church and the community. 

“In these days we really are missing a lot of our tangible ways of connecting and we don’t get to come together in this beautiful building and worship the Lord on Sundays together. So the prayer wall is a way for us to have a tangible connection to one another,” said Pastor Beltrame.

The wall was built by a church member. So far, people have left messages for unity, hope and peace. 

A can of disinfectant wipes sits near the wall so everyone can sign the wall.

Pastor Beltrame said the goal of the wall is to offer hope and release. 

“It doesn’t have to be words; it can be pictures. If you just want to let off the steam of whatever’s on your heart, whether it’s joy and praise, or whether it’s something difficult that you’re going through. We want anybody who wants to come by to know that they are invited to be a part of signing the prayer wall and of course praying for the prayers that are on the wall. And if you sign on there, then we will be praying for you,” said Pastor Beltrame.

The church has no plans of taking away the wall.