TUPELO – Prayers for civic leaders, the military and those harmed by last week’s deadly tornadoes were on the lips of Tupeloans as they gathered Thursday for the National Day of Prayer.
Mayor Jack Reed Jr. welcomed a crowd of 50 at the BancorpSouth Arena at 7 a.m. where, among other things, folks prayed for city officials, churches and families.
Shortly after noon around 100 gathered under the bright sun outside City Hall for a program emceed by Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association.
Praying for storm victims, the Rev. William Stevenson evoked the story of Job, the biblical figure who lost everything but was restored to health and well-being by God.
“Make what you give them now better, even, than what they had before,” said Stevenson, associate pastor at Living Word and Praise Sanctuary.
Paulette Hoskins was proud to hear God’s word proclaimed loudly in a public place.
“If we pray to God, blessings will rain down,” she said.
The National Day of Prayer was instituted by Congress in 1952 as a time for Americans to put aside their differences and to pray for their country.
The climax of Thursday’s event was a soulful rendition of “Amazing Grace,” belted out powerfully and beautifully by Toni Morris.
During a third chorus, in which everyone simply sang “praise God,” folks waved their hands over their heads in a gesture of praise.
“This has been heartwarming and filling,” said Sammy Shannon of Fulton. “I wish we could have this every day.”
Contact Galen Holley at (662) 678-1510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal