National Day of Prayer 05/02/07

HED: National Day of Prayer observances set

n Area residents will gather to request blessings for the region and the nation.

By Charity Gordon

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Hundreds of Northeast Mississippians are expected to meet Thursday at city halls, churches and conference centers across the region in observance of the United States’ 56th annual National Day of Prayer.

At least two Tupelo organizations will sponsor community prayer events.

Mission Mississippi, a Christian group that works for racial reconciliation, will hold a time of prayer and fasting from 7 a.m. until 7:45 a.m. Thursday in the conference rooms of the BancorpSouth Arena. Area pastors will lead in prayer for schools, governments, leaders and businesses. All Lee County residents are invited.

From 12:20 p.m. to 12:40 p.m., the American Family Association will host musical worship and prayer in front of Tupelo’s City Hall.

Tim Wildmon, president of AFA, has coordinated the lunchtime observance.

“It’s great that we can have at least one day a year that’s set aside for nothing but prayer,” he said.

The Revs. Tony Hereford, pastor of Living Word and Praise Sanctuary, and Bert Harper, pastor of West Jackson Street Baptist Church, will lead the crowd in praying for local, state and national leadership.

Craig Shannon, co-chairman of the local Mission Mississippi branch, says he hopes people from all walks of life will meet for one common cause during the morning prayer service.

“We hope people will come together without boundaries of any kind – racial, denominational or political – in order to better our community,” he said. “Our hope is everyone will see that our Lord and Savior loves us all and wants us all to love one another.”

Observances elsewhere:

- Amory residents can gather at 11:45 a.m. at the Frisco Pavilion downtown. Organizer John Ward, director of education at Bethel Apostolic Church, says local pastors will lead in prayer. The observance should last about 40 minutes.

- Mantachie residents can pray together at 7:30 a.m. around the town hall flag. In addition, First Baptist Church will keep its doors open from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. to make a place for prayer available throughout the day.

- The Olive Branch, a Mooreville congregation, will host a prayer event from 6-8 p.m. under a big tent at the Lee-Itawamba County line off Highway 178. Free food will be available.

- In Oxford, hospital chaplains have organized a 2 p.m. time of prayer at Baptist Memorial Hospital’s flagpole.

Contact Daily Journal religion editor Charity Gordon at (662) 678-1586 or charity.gordon@djournal.com.