Community gathers in prayer for mayor 

By Bonnie Culverhouse

While Minden Mayor Terry Gardner was undergoing three surgical procedures Wednesday, the local community was standing at the front door of the Minden Civic Center, praying for him, his family, doctors and nurses.

“Last night, God just put it on my heart that we needed to pray,” said city Human Resources Director April Aguilar. “So, we started making phone calls and putting something on Facebook.”

Gardner has been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer. Following surgery, he will begin chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Four pastors – Jimbo Yocum, Trey Waller, Terry Combs and Rick Cosby – shared stories about the mayor and how he has touched their lives. Afterward, each prayed with the community.

Combs, who is also head of the city’s street department, prayed the community would put aside its differences and pull together.

“We will go through trials and tribulations while we are on this earth,” Combs said. “We are going to go through some things. Put your arms around somebody and mean it.”

Cosby shared the ways his life has unfolded.

“I saw Chief (Steve) Cropper every week in jail,” Cosby said. But when his life turned around and he came back to Minden, Gardner was instrumental in helping Cosby find a church facility, so he could minister to others.

Waller said he believes God wants Minden to do great things.

“God has ordained our city to do miracles,” Waller said. “Great and mighty things. Miracles happen when there’s no other way.”

Yocum, who is also city attorney, pointed out the Bible says, “wherever three or more are gathered in My name …” Yocum said. “I believe in prayer. God is bigger than cancer.”

Former city councilman and mayor Joe Cornelius also asked for prayer for his wife, Jackie, who is experiencing issues. Prayer for her health was also part of the vigil.

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