Community answers call to prayer

Published 1:15 am Friday, May 3, 2013

Dozens of area residents joined religious leaders, elected officials and others in observing National Day of Prayer in front of Washington’s City Hall on Thursday.

In his remarks of welcome, Mayor Archie Jennings talked about how he, as an elected official, appreciates when people pray for him and other elected officials.

“Each year, when I look out over the community calendar, it’s easy to recognize that no day will be more important or meaningful than this one. Because, regardless of the good fortune that may be in store for us, the grants we might receive, the solid plans that are slated for implementation, the wise — or unwise — decisions that may come done, none will have the impact of even just one, humble, yet sincere, prayer offered on behalf of the community,” the mayor said. “I can tell you as a leader that I’ve never felt more supported than when I’m prayed for by friend, foe, or even better, someone I’ve never met before. … So, it’s my prayer that God will place among us legions of prayer warriors like yourselves who, fortified with the spirit and unity of this National Day of Prayer, will make every day a worldwide day of prayer.”

The Rev. Jay Martin, pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd, delivered the prayer for the nation.

“Regrettably, it often takes calamity to get a nation praying. It takes Sept. 11, 2001. It takes April 15, 2013, on Boylston Street in Boston. It takes a Challenger explosion. It takes an assassination. It takes the outbreak of a war,” Martin said. “We are called in the spirit of E Pluribus Unum — the motto of our grand nation: from many, one — to be united. To be united in prayer is the greatest unity of all. It transcends racial divides, socio-economic divides, denominational divides, even religious-affiliation divides. To be prayerful is to fulfill the spirit of Jesus Christ, who prayed that we may be one as he and the Father are one.”

Retired Air Force Col. Mark Remick, aerospace instructor at Northside High School, prayed for U.S. military personnel. Ann-Marie Montague, shelter manager of Ruth’s House, prayed for the needy, poor and oppressed. The Rev. Thomas Lee, pastor of the 15th Street Church of God, prayed for spiritual unity in area churches. Bishop Samuel Jones, co-founder of Purpose of God Annex Outreach Center, prayed for unity and community. The Rev. Brian Lee, youth minister at First Baptist Church in Washington, prayed for children and young adults. Jerry Langley, chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners and pastor of a church in Washington County, prayed for state and local elected officials.

Andrew Castles sang the national anthem and led the audience in singing “God Bless America.”

The Junior ROTC unit from Washington High School posted the colors.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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