GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) The mailbox outside of Gaston Christian Church isn't for typical letters. It's just for prayer requests.
Some people just ''don't feel comfortable coming to church,'' said Scott Patterson, the pastor of the church, located near Belmont, N.C. ''It's simply, strictly for people to say, 'I want someone to pray for me.'''
Church members started collecting the prayer requests about four years ago. The black-and-white, mailbox-type receptacle sits a few yards off the road with a cross-shaped steeple on top. A marquee reads, ''Need prayer? Drop a note in our box.''
The church sometimes receives two letters a day, sometimes none in a week. Most requests are unsigned and generic, ranging from unemployment to sickness to family issues. The church uses its Sunday bulletin to ask members to pray for these needs.
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