Search for Michael Vance affects church services

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LUTHER, Okla. - As law enforcement continued to search for accused killer Michael Vance Wednesday night, a number of Luther residents stayed home instead of going to church.

The pastor of Luther’s First Christian Church said only about a third of the kids showed up for the weekly youth service.

"Everybody is on edge," said Pastor Johnny Melton.

Church leaders considered not having the Wednesday night service but decided to keep the doors open.

"Just thinking that some kids may show up that want to talk about it and need somebody to talk to about it, and maybe they're looking for a little extra guidance," said Youth Pastor Chuck Clowers.

During the sermon, pastors preached on not living in fear.

"You have to hand it over to faith, you know, and you have to talk about it and you have to let kids ask questions and answer them," Clowers said.

They also stressed the importance of prayer and forgiveness.

"We need to pray for everybody involved, as well as pray for the killer and his family," Melton said.

They are hoping their message resonates with everyone who hears it.

"Sometimes, the way God takes care of you isn't always the way you think it will be, but he still takes care of you," Clowers said.

Church leaders said they understand and respect the decisions of the parents who chose to keep their kids home Wednesday night.