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A prayer for America

The Ironton Tribune - 5/4/2024

May 4—Ironton Area Ministerial Association has annual National Day of Prayer event

On Thursday at noon, members of the Ironton Area Ministerial Association gathered on the steps of the Lawrence County Courthouse for the annual National Day of Prayer as they have for the better part of four decades.

This year's theme was "Blest as We Pray Together."

It was a warm day as Pastor Terry Jones, the pastor of Resurrection Hope Methodist Church, opened up the ceremony at noon.

Next, Rev. Eddie Holmes spoke about Rev. Richard Lee Carter, who passed away April 22. Carter was a U.S. Army veteran and the pastor of the Triedstone Baptist Church in Ironton. He was well-known for visiting the sick and for over 30 years, visited inmates in jail to spread the Word. Holmes went with Carter to visit inmates for the past eight years.

"Richard kept his faith, right up until his last breath," Holmes said, adding that when he visited Carter before the end, that he often wondered if he was listening. "Before I would leave, he would raise his hands up from under the covers and ask for prayer. He has an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord."

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Rev. Dr. Dave Lucas, a trooper leader of Ironton Boy Scout Troop 106, and

the National Anthem was sung by Adyson Copley.

Next, seven local pastors lead prayers for different aspects of American life including those in government, those serving in the military, those in the media and the arts, local businesses, those who educate our children, for the body of the church in the U.S. and for Americans to follow the Bible.

Father Wayne Morris, who is over four catholic churches in Lawrence County, prayed for the government.

He said that he knows in today's world that the government seems to be divided and we don't have the unity we need. He prayed that we would work together so that we can truly be one nation under God.

"We ask God to bless our government that they may lead us to true peace and understanding," he said. "A peace of love and justice."

Pastor Carson Hunt, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, prayed for the military, asking God to protect those who protect us.

"Father, in Jesus' name, I pray that your spirit may find a place in the hearts and souls of not only those who shall bear the brunt of the battle but also on those who make the decision where and when to fight," he said.

Sallie Schisler, priest in charge at Christ Episcopal Church, prayed for arts and entertainment and the media and that they would know Jesus as the author of their days, the writer of their story and destiny, source of their talent and that he would direct their steps.

Bishop Isaac Glover, pastor of the New Jerusalem Church, prayed for business. He asked God to give our youth an opportunity to serve, not only in jobs but to create them. And he prayed not only for America, but the world. And he asked for businesses to build industries all around the world so that they might serve up and coming future generations.

Rev. Rex Home, the sixth president of the Tri-State Bible College, prayed for education, from the U.S. Department of Education to our local teachers.

"We bring all of them and their systems before you and ask that you would help us to know God, one nation under God, who is the all-knowing creator," he prayed.

Rev. Jeff Williams, pastor of C3 Freedom house, prayed for the church.

He thanked all for coming, saying that it is the everyday prayer of the saints.

"It is the unity of the church, of brothers and sisters coming together with a common purpose to spread the word of Jesus Christ," he said. "We are the salt of the earth, we are the light of the world, so let us come together and pray."

Rev. Kim Gibbard, pastor at Westwood Wesleyan Church and director of Tri-State Family Connections, prayed for the family.

"As we look around our communities and our country and the whole world, we see family isn't what it used to be," she said, adding that most families are not the 1950s-style family anymore, that they have grown to be very different with grandparents raising their grandchildren, single parents raising their children by themselves and divorced parents raising their children separately.

"Those families can still be blessed, Father, if they invite you in," she prayed. "So, God, we pray today over every family unit."

The first National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman after a young evangelist named Billy Graham made a big push to make it a national event.

Since then, every president has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a law designating the first Thursday of May as a day of national prayer.


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