Praise and Gratitude for Jayme Closs


It’s been 11 days since Barron teen Jayme Closs was rescued after being reported missing for 88 days.

Sunday, the community of Cameron came back together for a message of praise and gratitude.

The service at St. Peter Catholic Church in Cameron brought community leaders and the public in a show of support for Closs. This was the same church which Jayme grew up going to, as well as held the funerals for her murdered parents, James and Denise Closs.

The communities of Barron and Cameron united on Sunday for a service for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who is now reunited with her family, friends and church family. A praise and gratitude church service took place on Sunday night at St. Peter Catholic Church in Cameron.

People packed in the pews to celebrate the strong 13-year-old girl who escaped her accused captor and is now home safe with her family. Songs of celebration were ringing through the air.

“Music has such a powerful way of going places where spoken word can’t,” said Luke Spehar, a singer who is leading the service on Sunday night.

There were words of gratitude for law enforcement and a standing ovation for Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.

“I know this community can do anything now, I have seen it, we’ve done the impossible and it starts with a 13 year old girl and it ends with a community of 44,000 strong.” Sheriff Fitzgerald said.

They prayed in gratitude for Jayme’s family and specifically her parents, James and Denise Closs.

“For what Jayme’s parents themselves did, they gave Jayme the gift of life , love and the faith that really helped to keep her strong,” said Father John Gerritts, the supervising pastor.

They were praying for healing of the community that even after nearly 90 long days and never gave up hope. “These communities are really a shining example for the rest of us, it’s not so much maybe what we heard it’s what we didn’t hear, we didn’t hear people pointing fingers, we didn’t hear blaming one another,” Father Gerritts said. “That’s what I believe really helped them maintain that hopefulness and now the joy that they are able to express.”

But above all else they prayed for Jayme. “I don’t know about all of you but everything just seems a little different since Jayme got home, so much new meaning around us,” said Diane Tremblay the Barron Schools Superintendent.

Together they are all celebrating the brave 13-year-old who is home. “Strong, courageous, inspiring and loved so much,” said Katie Kohel and Bailey Hauck as they were describing their friend, Jayme.

So much love in the air and praise for prayers that had finally been answered. “We are a part of one big family and I am so proud to be a part of this community,” said Pastor Chad Halverson from Barron Foursquare Church.

“For 88 days, I stood before you telling you, asking you not to give up hope – and you didn’t … and I will never be able to thank you guys enough for that,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said to the congregation Sunday. “But, it starts with the 87 members of the Barron County Sheriff’s Department. They’re the people that had my back, that listened to our orders, that spent the evenings away from their families working this case in and out.”

“We believe that it’s important to come together this evening for a time of praise and gratitude, because we certainly have been calling upon God to help especially to bring Jayme back home safely,” Fr. John Gerritts, a supervising pastor for St. Peter Catholic Church, said. “We’ve been calling upon God and He has heard and answered our prayers. Now, we need to turn to him in gratitude and to thank Him.

Jake Patterson, the man accused of kidnapping Jayme and killing her parents, has a preliminary hearing in Barron County scheduled for February 6th.

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