Prayer vigil in support of Mark Priebe draws “several hundred”

Steve Chapman

Officer Mark Priebe

The Aurora Baptist Temple led a prayer vigil in support of Officer Mark Priebe, of the Springfield Police Department on the evening of Tuesday, June 16 at Oak Park in Aurora. Priebe, who formerly served on the Aurora Police Department for three years before going to the Springfield Police Department, was struck by a vehicle while trying to make contact with a suspect at the Springfield Police Department on June 9. He was severely injured and is currently undergoing rehabilitation.
Nathan Burch, lead pastor at Aurora Baptist Temple, said the vigil gave people “a chance to come together as a community” and show their support for the Priebe family, as well as law enforcement in general. He estimated that “several hundred” people turned out to show their support for Priebe.
“(It’s) a reminder to our law enforcement that we support them; we realize that their job is not an easy job, and that what they have been called to do is not for the faint of heart,” he said.
Holly-George Thomas, Priebe’s sister-in-law, spoke during the prayer vigil to give attendees an update on his status.
 “He’s in really good spirits,” she said. “He’s transferred to Denver, Colo., to his new rehab facility there. And so, we’re just really excited. He’s ready to get working to get to walk again.”
Asked if Priebe was confident that he would walk again, Thomas answered, “Very much so.”
“He’s a man of faith, and he knows that God’s going to bring him through this,” she said.
Thomas added she was pleased with the number of people who turned out during the vigil.
“(It’s) fantastic,” she said. “Just to see the community come out to support (us) and to know that they are praying for us and supporting us. It makes us feel so much better that we’ve got the community around us.”
Robert George, Priebe’s father-in-law, said he was also pleased with the turnout.
“We love it,” he said. “This is the people of our community coming out, being with us, praying with us, and supporting us.”
S h a n n o n Walker, executive director of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, which asked Aurora Baptist Temple to head up the prayer vigil, said the event was held to give the city a chance to show their support for the Priebe family.
“It was a time for us as a community to come together and send prayers and well-wishes to Mark and his family,” she said.
Thomas asked that people pray not only for Mark Priebe, but also his wife, Heather, who is currently facing a battle of her own.
“Just keep Mark in your prayers, and pray for his wife who’s battling cancer and pray for her healing as well,” she said.
For more information on how to support the Priebe family, go to the PrayersforPriebe Facebook page.


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