May 1 proclaimed as Day of PrayerPublished 9:49pm Friday, April 25, 2014
Praying for our economy, government, families, schools and those who are in need — that is the focus of National Prayer Day celebration, set for May 1 at the Washington Municipal Building.
According to the National Day of Prayer website, the National Day of Prayer, created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, invites people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. It also represents Judeo Christian expression of the national observance, based on the understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.
On April 11, Washington Mayor Mac Hodges proclaimed May 1 as a designated Day of Prayer in Washington.
“It is not to the exclusion of other faiths,” said Dick Barber, co-chair of the event. “Anybody that believes there is a higher authority that has some impact on our lives is encouraged to pray.”
According to Frank Belote, co-chairman and moderator of the event, the National Day of Prayer committee in Washington has invited county and city government officials, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Beaufort County judicial officials, ministers and laypersons from area churches, Washington Police Chief Stacy Drakeford and Hodges. Grover Sawyer, a Washington resident, will sound the shofar, a musical ram’s horn of ancient origin, used for Jewish religious purposes, to start the ceremony.
Hodges will welcome guests and participants followed by Rev. Jay Martin giving a general prayer for National Day of Prayer.
“We will start with a prayer for the nation,” Belote said.
Belote said that the Washington High School Junior ROTC will present the posting of the colors, displaying both the North Carolina state flag and the American flag followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Drakeford. Andrew Castles, music director at the Church of the Good Shephard, will lead all musical offerings of the ceremony through song and guitar, including the national anthem, “God Bless America” and other song selections. A cadet from WHS Junior ROTC will offer a prayer for the men and women of the Armed Services.
According to Belote, the prayer services will then commence. Rev. Tad Tankard from Harvest Church will be praying for the poor, needy and oppressed; Rev. Thomas Lee from 15th Street Church of God will be praying for spiritual unity in the community’s churches; Bishop Samuel Jones from the Purpose of God Annex will be praying for unity within the community; Thomas Hamilton, youth director of Old Ford Church of Christ will be praying for children and young adults; and finally, Chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners Jerry Langley will be praying for state and local leaders.
“After that, we will sing ‘God Bless America’ led by Andrew at the end,” Belote said. “It will probably run about 45 minutes or so, but it’s just a series of prayers led by different people in the community, praying about specific parts of the community.”