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#039;National Day of Prayer#039; observed

For the second time in as many years, the people of Luverne gathered on Thursday, May 6 to observe the National Day of Prayer, as did communities around the nation.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley proclaimed the day for all of Alabama.

In a statement issued by Riley's office, he recognized the importance of prayer in Alabama and the nation, by issuing a proclamation in observance of the National day of Prayer, and spoke at an event marking the occasion on the steps of the State Capitol.

"Prayer will see us through many of our trials and tribulations," Gov. Riley said in his remarks. "As we look at what is going on around the world, we understand that prayer is as important today as it has ever been."

In his proclamation, Riley said, "Whereas, our nation was founded by men who sought wisdom and guidance through prayer; and whereas, the National Day of Prayer was first proclaimed by the Continental Congress in 1775; and whereas, the Congress of the United States, in 1952, enacted legislation setting aside a Day of Prayer for the nation, and in 1988, designated the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer; and whereas, prayer has played a strong role in our nation's history and heritage, as many Americans have depended on it for healing, hope and guidance; and whereas, the observance of the National Day of Prayer has proved to be a powerful tool that has brought together and united citizens from diverse religious backgrounds in an effort to face life's challenges with a renewed hope; and whereas, this year marks the 53rd annual National Day of Prayer, and people will gather together across our nation to observe this symbolic event:

Now, therefore, I, Bob Riley, governor of the State of Alabama, do hereby proclaim, May 6, 2004, as National Day of Prayer in the State of Alabama."

More than 75 people gathered on the courthouse steps in Luverne on May 6th to observe the occasion, with opening remarks by Ann Tate, circuit clerk for Crenshaw County.

Probate Judge Jim Perdue introduced officials present, and led those gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance, as the Colors were presented by Boy Scout Troop 147.

Pastor Mike Green opened with the invocation prayer, and Pastor Steve Defee prayed for our nation and our state.

Brother Curtis Petrey prayed for the executive branch and our governor.

The Rev. Jesse Evans prayed for Congress and our legislators.

Attorney Mike Jones prayed for our national and state judicial branches of government.

Luverne Mayor Joe Rex Sport prayed for our city and county governments.

Crenshaw County School Superintendent Kathi Wallace prayed for area schools, educators and families.

Pastor Bobby Stone prayed for area churches, pastors and members.

The Rev. Dcric Williford prayed four our armed services, police departments and fire departments, and then offered closing remarks.