Prayers went up Tuesday morning during a prayer service in Bellmead for the community and people hurt in the Branch Davidian standoff.

The first Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast drew together local political leaders, police officers, firefighters and members of the Tri-cities Ministerial Alliance at the Bellmead Civic Center.

Curtis Holland, a chaplain at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, told the 50 people at the service that prayer is the key to dealing with everyday difficulties and the situation at Mount Carmel.

“I’ve found that when people pray there is something about them that makes them strong,” he said.

Holland said the community needs to heal from 51 days of struggling with the standoff.

“Somehow, prayer time makes us think about things beautiful,” he said.

The Rev. Tim Baker at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bellmead encouraged people to pray for the families of the cult members and law enforcement officials involved in the standoff.

Bellmead Mayor Russell Devorsky said the breakfast, originally planned to take place near Easter, was delayed by recent events.


Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.