By Matthew Baker

NewsTribune Reporter

In the wake of the unexpected death of Ottawa Township High School superintendent John Harrison on Sunday, a prayer vigil was held in Ottawa's Christ Community Church Monday night.

More than 100 people took part in the vigil, which gave community members a chance to grieve and come together during the emotional time following Harrison's death this past weekend. Harrison was found dead Sunday in his home.

"Tonight is not a night for blame," the Rev. John Nordstrom of Christ Community Church said in his opening remarks.

Nordstrom briefly discussed how it would be easy to try to find a connection between Harrison's death and the community's stress from the ongoing OTHS teachers strike, but that it would be inappropriate.

"That would be a great misunderstanding of what was in John's heart and mind," Nordstrom said.

Instead, Nordstrom told those in attendance to focus on "faith, hope and love."

Over the course of the first hour of the vigil, various area pastors led the group in prayer and occasional song.

Following the formal prayer vigil and communal songs, Nordstrom invited those in attendance to remain at the church and pray or comfort one another in their own fashion.

Harrison has served as OTHS superintendent since 2007. Previously he was the school's principal for four years.

Services for Harrison are at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Columba Church, Ottawa. Visitation is 2-7 p.m. Wednesday in Mueller Funeral Home in Ottawa. Burial is in St. Columba Cemetery.

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