Church community prays for kidnapped teen

Women of faith pray for the return of one woman's missing daughter.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A community of believers surrounded the mother of a teen kidnapped from her Augusta home.  Pastor William Blount and the congregation of Greater Young Zion Baptist Church, off Sand Bar Ferry Road, held a prayer vigil for LaTania Janell Carwell.

“And you will not win in the name of Jesus,” one praying woman said.
Prayers of the righteous filled the sanctuary.
“We give you all the glory and the honor,” the prayer said.
Sisters in Christ to Tanya Tripp reached out and touched her as she moves into the three week mark of her husband and daughter’s disappearance from their Augusta home.
“Oh my God it’s such a blessing to have your church back you,” Tripp said.  “It’s such a blessing and I thank God for my church family.”
Greater Young Zion Baptist Church Pastor William Blount has been in contact with Tripp through out each week since her 38-year-old husband Leon Tripp left with her 16-year-old daughter, LaTania Janell Carwell.
“We empathize with her,” Pastor Blount said. “We have compassion for her and I think she needed to feel that in a more tangible way.”
Despite investigators calling this a kidnapping, Mrs. Tripp said she still believes her husband’s story that the two left to meet a friend with car trouble in South Carolina. And she told her church family that she’s ignoring any gossip that the two took off together intentionally.
“What’s important to me is finding my baby and bringing her home safely. That’s what matters,” she told the congregation.
Investigators tell NewsChannel 6 that Leon Tripp did not receive a call from a man he called Maurice with car trouble.  Mrs. Tripp said both her husband and daughter will verify that story when they get home.
She said she is praying daily. With a body of believes on her side, she’s hopeful LaTania hears her call to come home.
“Mommy loves you baby and if you can get to a phone, call me.  Let me know where you are and I will come get you personally. I promise you I would come get you,” she stated passionately in tears.
We reported last week that Leon Tripp has a criminal past in Georgia that stretches back to 2001.
We will keep following this story and bring you the latest with the investigation when we learn it.

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