Silent Vigil

First Church’s Silent Vigil

Responding to the murders of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, First Congregational Church of Akron (First Church) has installed a silent vigil memorializing each of the 169 victims of mass shootings in schools, colleges, and universities since the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999.

This silent vigil, created by the members of First Church, visually represents each of the lives lost, a cry for justice, and an appeal for policy change. To memorialize each life lost, a white stake bearing the name and age of each victim has been installed on the front lawn of the church, located at 292 East Market Street, Akron.

“It is hard to find the words to express our sorrow and outrage at the mass shootings that are plaguing our nation and affecting even our children whose schools should be safest places on earth. This memorial to the 169 victims of mass shootings in schools and colleges across the United States since 1999 seems so inadequate, but stands as a silent vigil and a symbol of our resolve that this should never happen again. We invite our neighbors across greater Akron to visit this silent vigil and to mourn all of the victims of mass shootings.” – Rev. Nanette Pitt, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church of Akron

First Church is an Open and Affirming congregation, dually affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. Its mission is to share Christ’s light and welcoming, open and loving message with all people. The church welcomes and affirms people of every race, age, nationality, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, family circumstance, socio-economic status, physical and mental ability, or spiritual background. The church invites all who are seeking God’s presence in their lives to join in Sunday worship (9:00 and 11:00 AM), community life, and service. To learn more, visit the website at or call 330.253.5109.


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