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United in prayer
Religious freedom on display Thursday
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Nearly 100 people gathered together downtown at the Farmers Market at noon Thursday to observe National Day of Prayer, along with millions more across America.
“There are many countries where Christians don’t have the privilege to assemble together like this,” said Jim Hunt of Eastside Baptist Church, reminding those in attendance of the freedom America has when it comes to religion, a freedom that is not shared in many countries.
Hunt prayed that Christians continue to stand up for their beliefs and be heard when it comes to keeping America a truly free country.
“We need to speak our convictions boldly,” Hunt said.
Jarvis Johnson, WCHS school resource officer and associate pastor at Locust Street Church of God, called for a spirit of service, noting Jesus came to the world to serve others.
“Jesus washed feet and fed the hungry,” Johnson said, noting Jesus left the right hand of God to set the example everyone should follow. “The word minister means to serve. The Lord can use us to serve other people.”
Covenant Academy teacher Nathan Smith trumpeted the call for service to others, adding he had his views on life changed.
“I used to think the homeless were just too lazy to work,” Smith admitted. “Now, I’m on the opposite side of that. I operate a homeless shelter. I used to think private school was reserved for rich kids, but that’s not the case at all. There are many hard-working families saving their money and counting their pennies so they can send their kids to a Christian school.”
Smith said America should count itself as rich when it comes to the blessings that most take for granted. As such, we should seek to help others who are less fortunate.
Jason Brown of Friendship Baptist prayed that Christians will find their calling and do work in service of the church and their fellow man.
“Give us the spirit of wisdom to know the hope of your calling,” Brown prayed.
James Johnson of First United Methodist Church said the mission of Christians is to spread the gospel.
“He has called all of us to share the good news of the kingdom of God,” Johnson said.
Coy Hathcock of Westwood Church of Christ prayed for God to watch over his church.
“Help us in those moments when we are fearful to remember that it is already in your hands,” Hathcock prayed.
Wayne Moore of First Baptist Church reminded those in attendance that the church is the source from where the gospel comes.
“It begins with each of us,” Moore said.
Locust Street Church of God Rev. Jeff Page prayed for the country’s leaders, asking God to guide them.
“We lift them up to you, asking you to give them godly wisdom,” Page prayed before leading the congregation in a chorus of “What A Day That Will Be.”