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Monday, 07 May 2018 05:06

Citizens of Richmond County Recognize National Day of Prayer

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Prayer Vigil at Richmond County Courthouse Prayer Vigil at Richmond County Courthouse Photo by Pam Simmons

ROCKINGHAM - Citizens of Richmond County celebrated the National Day of Prayer at the Richmond County Courthouse on Thursday, May 3 at 12 noon.


This was the 25th consecutive annual gathering on the courthouse steps in Rockingham.

President Harry Truman first signed a bill in 1952 proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan amended the law, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer.

This is to be a time for people of all faiths to come together to pray. The theme for this year is UNITY. Referring to Ephesians 4:3 - “Making every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”

First organized by Cathy Wilson, she is still in charge and was hard at work throughout the entire service.  Ms. Wilson and Roberdel Methodist Church Pastor Bob Carpenter passed out American flags and “I Prayed” stickers to people as they arrived.

Ronnie Wallace, a Rockingham High School graduate and Vietnam veteran, was one of the first to arrive and set up a chair in the shade, along with Max Brigman and Jay Parker.

Sound checks occurred so the crowd could hear the prayers, songs, and testimonies that were to follow.

The ceremonies began with a welcome from organizer Cathy Wilson, who thanked the law enforcement officers, the Rockingham Fire Department, the local clergy, Radio Station G104, contributing sponsor Cheerwine, and the crowd of well over 100 for attending the 25th annual gathering in Rockingham in commemoration of the National Day of Prayer.

Reverend Eddie McLean of King’s Gate Church of Hamlet, well known throughout Richmond County, opened with a stirring prayer. He was followed by a group of young children from KIDZ Konstruction in bright, colorful outfits, reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance” and then singing “Jesus Loves Me” with their sweet, joyful voices. Their teachers then recited “The Pledge of Allegiance to the Bible” and “The Pledge of Allegiance to the Christian Flag.”

Raven Newton, a student at the Ninth Grade Academy, then sang a beautiful version of “The Lord’s Prayer.” This is the third year that she has been a part of the National Day of Prayer event.

Court Counselor Ronald Tillman lead the group in prayer, asking that our hearts be filled with peace, love, and grace, and for blessings for our leaders throughout the community, as well as the organizers of this occasion. Clerk of Superior Court Vickie Daniel then sang “I’ll Talk to the Father for You.” She was followed by Rockingham City Clerk Sabrina McDonald who shared her testimony with the crowd, stating that she woke up one morning in 2012 and had lost her eyesight. After medical treatment, many prayers, and communing with God, her eyesight was restored. She encouraged others to PUSH forward even when times are tough.

Hamlet Police Department Chief Scott Waters spoke next, sharing the theme of UNITY, saying a prayer, and reading Ephesians 4:3. Debra Richardson and Kelby Caulder then vocalized the popular song “You Raise Me Up”. Assistant Football Coach Jay Jones at Richmond Senior High shared his testimony of the importance of trusting in God and prayer in his life. He asked for prayers for the athletes and coaches that are part of Richmond County.

Sheriff James Clemmons then spoke, thanking Cathy Wilson, the clergy, the law enforcement community, Radio Station G104, and all those who had been a part of this event. He was also thankful for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Richmond County. Clemmons stated that even though politicians have now taken away the right to pray at ball games, public meetings, etc., the citizens of Richmond County should not be anxious about their rights to pray in public.

Reverend Allison Farrah of the First Baptist Church in Hamlet shared a story about a divinity student who visited the historic home of John Wesley, the English theologian and one of the founders of Methodism. In 1940, the group, on a field trip, noticed the well-worn areas beside the bed of John Wesley, where he undoubtedly spent many hours knelt in prayer. As the group prepared to leave, the professor realized one of the students was missing. Going back through the house, the professor found the student in the bedroom, knelt in prayer, loudly proclaiming, “ Do it  again Lord! Do it again! May we have that revival again!” That student was Billy Graham, who in 1949 led a revival in California that drew 400,000 people. An American evangelist, he went on to touch millions of lives through his ministry worldwide, and died in February 2018.

Reverend Marvin Taylor of Outreach for Jesus led the closing prayer, asking all those who had been a part of the day’s event to come forward in front of the courthouse. Taylor echoed the words of Billy Graham, urging for all to come together and work in unity for a revival of prayer and God in our community, state, nation, and throughout the world.

For more information about the National Day of Prayer, you can visit nationaldayofprayer.org. 

Editor's note:  This article was contributed by Pam Simmons, a new addition to the talented team of writers at the Richmond Observer.  

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 07 May 2018 06:28
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