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Coming together to pray for our nation

By David Holloway
Staff Writer

The first Thursday of May holds great significance for the nation of America. We recognize this day as the National Day Of Prayer. All around America, prayers were being offered for this great nation. Mountain City was no exception. Several houses of worship held special meetings to pray for this nation. The Republican Women of Johnson County held an event at Ralph Stout Park on Thursday evening.

“The purpose of the event is to come together as a Nation to pray for our Nation on the National Day of Prayer,” said Ashley Worlock, President of the Republican Women of Johnson County. “We also pray for our county. There is a theme every year decided by the National Day of Prayer organization.”

The theme this year was Unity. The National Day of Prayer Mission is to mobilize unified prayer for America. In 1775, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming this nation marking it as this nation’s first call to prayer. President Truman established a national day of prayer in 1952. President Reagan amended the law proclaiming the first Thursday of May to be the National Day of Prayer starting in 1988.

The event was the second annual National Day of Prayer event sponsored by the Republican Women of Johnson County. Last year it was held at the County Courthouse steps with 19 people in attendance. This year, there were about 50 people in attendance. Among those in attendance, were our District 3 Tennessee House Representative Timothy Hill, First District Congressman candidate Todd McKinley, Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox, school board Chairman Kenneth Gregg, and Key Kernaghan, candidate for District 2 Constable.

“Our country was formed as a Constitutional Christian Republic, and as our pledge of allegiance states, “to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God,” said Anita Smith, Vice President of Republican Women of Johnson County and Worship and Children’s Pastor at Mighty Fortress Church.“The United States is not above God or without God, but under God. The NDP is a time for us to focus on 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” We are praying andbelieving for healing for our land.”

The event at Ralph Stout Park started at 5:30 pm with a welcome, an opening prayer and praise and worship lead by a team of musician’s from the various Highlands Fellowship campuses. For nearly an hour, participants prayed about different topics. Worlock opened the prayer time by reading the National prayer. Prayers were offered for unity between women and unborn and between women and babies. Earl Gambill, manager of the Community Center Pool, prayed for unity between children and parents. Worlock prayed for unity between senior citizens and family and between soldiers and country. Will Kerley, a high school student, prayed for unity among peers. Michelle Walters, a high school teacher, prayed for unity between students, parents, and teachers. Uriah Fletcher, a high school teacher, prayed for unity between education department and parents. Dawn Botts, Associate Professor at Appalachian State University, prayed for unity between law enforcement and citizens and unity between the city and its people and between the county and its people. McKinley prayed for unity between democrats and republicans and between states and nation. Smith prayed for unity among the churches.

Volunteers served pizza and refreshments to the attendees of the event and delivered pizzas to local organizations along with a message that prayers were said for them duringthe event. Contributions from Community Church, Republican Women of Johnson County, Farmers State Bank, Little Caesars, and personal donations from Mary Gale, Karen Weaver, Anita Smith, and Ashley Worlock funded this event.