TUPPER LAKE - People packed the pews of St. Alphonsus Church Tuesday night in a quickly organized candlelight vigil to pray for the return of missing 18-year-old Colin Gillis.
Almost every row of seating was full, others sat in the balcony, and groups of people stood in the vestibule at the back of the church as well. Some regular churchgoers said it was nice to see so many young faces in attendance.
Several people did readings - including a prayer to St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of lost things - and the crowd sang along with several hymns.
Area residents packed the pews of Tupper Lake’s St. Alphonsus Church Tuesday night in a candlelight vigil to pray for the safe return of missing teen Colin Gillis.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
"I think this is a very, very difficult time for everyone here in Tupper Lake," said the Rev. Douglas Decker, pastor of St. Alphonsus.
Decker said everyone is affected by tragedies at different points in his or her life, and when people can't find answers, they turn to spirituality.
He asked God to give wisdom to the people searching for Gillis.
Though the church is Roman Catholic, Rick Wilburn, the local Baptist minister, spoke during the service.
"May he deliver this young man back to us," Wilburn said during his talk.
After that, everyone attending lit a candle, and the lights were turned off as the crowd sat in the candlelight and sang "Amazing Grace."
The vigil was the brainchild of Lisa Dewyea Reed, though she said on Facebook that she only had the idea, and "Everyone else did the work."