By Alton Porter
CROCKETT – Local Christian leaders and church members, supported by governmental officials and business representatives, hosted a prayer gathering on the Houston County Courthouse lawn Thursday, May 6.
It was “the seventieth observance of National Day of Prayer,” said Minister Charlana Kelly, who served as emcee and welcomed attendees to the event. “Can you believe that? Seventy years. That’s awesome.
“I won’t be around actually if it goes this far, but wouldn’t it be great, 170 years? And the only way that can happen is passing this gift that we’ve been given to pray onto our children and our grandchildren and our great grandchildren.
“And that’s the thing … the Lord said: ‘If you will teach these things to your children and your children’s children, then you’re going to be blessed. And so, let’s continue our commitment to pray every day for our leaders and our nation, our neighbors, our community, our churches and all of the things that concern us because when we call upon the name of the Lord, he answers. He hears and he answers.
“And the Word says he’ll show us great and mighty things that we do not know. So, we need to know what God knows. Right? Because he has the answers to everything that we need.”
Kelly is a part of the Houston County Ministerial Association and a minister at Crockett’s Good Shepherd Fellowship Church.
The theme of the prayer day gathering locally, as well as nationally, was based on 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
“And our freedoms and liberty can only come from God,” said Kelly. “And I thank God for that because we don’t need to look to anyone else for freedom. We look to God. And when we have Christ as Savior, we have liberty. Amen.
“And so, the theme’s called ‘LORD pour out Your LOVE, LIFE, and LIBERTY.’
“And so, all across the nation today, beginning early in the morning, there’ve been gatherings already.” The national gathering was held that night (Thursday, May 6), and was accessible online and on smart phones via Facebook, Kelly said.
She read an excerpt from President Joe Biden’s National Day of Prayer proclamation: “On this National Day of Prayer, we unite with purpose and resolve, and recommit ourselves to the core freedoms that helped define and guide our Nation from its earliest days.
“We celebrate our incredible good fortune that, as Americans, we can exercise our convictions freely—no matter our faith or beliefs. Let us find in our prayers, however they are delivered, the determination to overcome adversity, rise above our differences, and come together as one Nation to meet this moment in history.”
“And today is a moment in history,” Kelly said. “And I know that God has good things for our future regardless of our government. Amen. Can we all agree on that?”
Kelly said she was honored when Pastor Tim Allen, of First Christian Church in Crockett, selected her to emcee the prayer day event, because the late Pastor Steve Meadows, of Westside Baptist Church, “was the one who often organized the National Day of Prayer events” in Crockett.
“And one of the things that I really loved and appreciated most about him was that he loved to pray, and he loved our nation,” Kelly said. “And oftentimes, he was committed to do that right here at this courthouse on a weekly basis during seasons of time that it was necessary.”
Kelly then had the late pastor’s wife, Terri Meadows, the Houston County Clerk, pray the first prayer, which focused on love and life.
Ten other individuals, including Kelly, followed Meadows in praying specific prayers targeting various focuses.
Those prayer warriors included Allen, who also is president of the Texas Council of Child Welfare Boards, who prayed for children and families; Pastor Michael Bedevian, of First United Methodist Church, who prayed for the elderly; and Pastor Leon Wallace, of Good Shepherd Fellowship Church, who prayed for churches.
In addition, Maria Mathis, a First Baptist Church Crockett member and an educator, prayed for the education system, students and educators; Tiffany Wiggins-Blackmon, owner of Crockett Printing, prayed for businesses and their customers; and Houston County Sheriff Randy Hargrove prayed for freedom and government.
Also praying at the event were Crockett Mayor and Minister Dr. Ianthia Fisher, who focused on all levels of government; Pastor Reggie Gregory, of Calvary Baptist Church, who prayed for local, state and national unity and the elimination of prejudice; Kelly, who made additional comments and prayed a general prayer; and Houston County Judge Jim Lovell, who prayed the closing prayer.