CAMANCHE, Iowa — Camanche Mayor Ken Fahlbeck says his small town has been plagued for several years by more than its share of depression and suicides.

In an effort to address the problem, Fahlbeck and the pastors of the four local churches will host an all-faith community prayer at 2 p.m. Sunday at Camanche Middle School.

Fahlbeck said he brought the idea to the pastors from Immanuel Lutheran Church, First Baptist Church, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church and the Church of the Visitation, and all were receptive to the idea.

Fahlbeck said the town has had 10 or 11 suicides in the past decade, including three in the past year, and he wanted to do something to bring the community together.

“I do believe in the power of prayer,” he said.

Fahlbeck said the service is open to the public and to residents of other communities who want attend.

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The Rev. Paul Willis of the First Baptist Church said he thought the prayer service was a great idea.

“We think a return to God is what people need,” he said.

Willis said people who commit suicide often are people who have lost hope, and he is hopeful the prayer service will have a positive affect on the community.

“People need the Lord, plain and simple,” he said. “When we start to go by the rules of man instead of the one who created us, we get into trouble every time.”

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