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National Day of Prayer draws a crowd

Several hundred people gathered in Downtown Greenville last Thursday for the National Day of Prayer held on the front steps of City Hall.

The Butler County Ministerial Association sponsored the event, which featured prayers by different pastors and community members for various government entities, schools and more.

The theme this year was “Love One Another,” taken from John 13:34, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.”

“We appreciate all of you being here and appreciate you all taking the time to come,” Mayor Dexter McLendon said. “This is an important day and an important event. It’s very important for the City of Greenville because without prayer, we couldn’t do anything. The City Council and my office welcome you and we thank you because prayer is important for all of us with the decisions and things going on.”

Allen Stephenson, president of the Butler County Ministerial Association, then spoke about the event.

“It is an honor for us to be able to sponsor the event every year,” he said.  “There is no more appropriate theme than this year’s – Love One Another. I fear that we are more divided than we have ever been in my lifetime. I pray that all across America today at this high noon hour that people will pray and bring our country back to where it ought to be.”

First Assembly of God Pastor Lane Simmons then read the scripture and expressed how important the event was.

“Our hope for America is God’s grace and love,” he said.

According to information provided by the Ministerial Association, the nationwide goal this year was to reach the 328 million people in America’s 3,142 counties and 19,510 incorporated places, including cities, towns and villages.

During the service, Herbert Brown prayed for the president, governor and mayor; Bro. Robert Shuford offered prayers for the military; Abbie Jackson prayed for first responders and law enforcement and then Gerri McGinnis sang to the crowd. The focal points of prayer included a prayer for government by Mark Courtney; prayers for business, commerce and the economy by Danny Dean; a prayer for the media by Chase Clower; a prayer for the church by the Rev. Linda Suzanne Borgen and prayers for families by Ricky Crysell. The program ended with a song by McGinnis and Tommy Ryan before closing remarks by Stephenson.