GREENVILLE - Nearly 160 people gathered in front of the City Building Thursday at Noon for the National Day of Prayer. The sun occasionally poked through the clouds sending flashes of warmth to those attending the service on the slightly chilly and windy day.
East Main Church of Christ Minister, Jim Morehouse, one of the services coordinators for the Greater Greenville Ministerial Association, referred to it as an “inspirational program” in conjunction with Mayor Mike Bowers’ Office and several community leaders praying for different sectors.
“Since my involvement, it has been done for the last several years.” Morehouse said. “Across the nation today there’s 42,000 different events. With that has been a yearly observance since 1952 and this is the 63rd Annual. It’s always exciting to get together with the other Christians, and to go ahead and lift up our prayers with other Christians and to go ahead and lift up our prayers. It has to do with being united in prayer. We’re praying to the same God. It’s always encouraging to come together to lift up the needs of our country. Prayer makes a difference, seeking God’s guidance, his blessing and seeking his will. Boy we need that in so many different areas in our country.”
The service opened with songs throughout by Joseph Helfrick and welcome by Pastor John Monroe of the Pyrmont United Methodist Church. Then came a Pledge of Allegiance and opening prayer led by Greenville Mayor Mike Bowers. A Color Guard Presentation by the American Legion Post 140 who also gradually raised the flag up the pole as Sarah Green of Greenville High School sweetly sang the National Anthem.
Worship Leader Joseph Helfrich led songs on a guitar — “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” “One World,” “They’ll Know we are Christians” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”
Community leaders leading the prayers in the annual service started with Diane Delaplane, who led prayer about the government, saying that they blend God and Country while citing Timothy chapters 1 and 2 of the Bible.
Judge Jonathan Hein prayed for the judicial system and judges of all levels from the supreme court to Ohio’s Supreme Court, the municipal court, and federal and trial to local judges — all making difficult decisions every day.
Prayer for the Military by Delbert Braund, Sr., a retired Sr. Master of the US Air Force noted veterans sacrifices, who in some cases gave their lives. He also noted the “unsung heroes” and family of law enforcement and public safety. The Greenville Fire Department displayed a flag from its ladder engine for the service in front of the city building.
“God never gives us anything to bear that he doesn’t give us the strength to bear it,” Braund said.
Representing the business community was Pastor John Person of the First Presbyterian Church, who prayed for those who provide jobs, and creatively seek ways to do that for youths, the under-employed and unemployed.
Joy FM’s Rick Gutheil asked for forgiveness for the media following the dollar as well as seeking the truth. He also prayed for the Internet to stop producing things promoting violence.
Two-time cancer survivor Pastor Peter Menke of St. Paul Lutheran Church prayed for the community’s medical community like its doctors, nurses and others — those who bring special skills to those who are hurting in hospitals and nursing homes, thanking God for their gifts of health and healing.
Prayers for educators by Pastor Bill Baker of Faith Baptist Church said that with either scripture or the sum of two plus two equalling four, to pray for educators who seek the Lord. He also prayed for the schools and children facing threats to their safety across the nation.
Prayers for families, turning the hearts of youths and parents to faith as a way of life, came from Pastor Doug Klinsing of Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.
Prayers for volunteers by John Schmidt, president of Senior Servants, Inc., who said that he retired only to give his time to volunteer helping seniors. He said there are 64.5 million volunteers in America today, volunteering billions of hours. Volunteers touch all aspects of society, not for political gain but sacrificial giving.
“One of the gifts of the Spirit is serving,” he said.
Fr. John White of St. Mary’s Catholic Church prayed for the Church. St. Mary’s Catholic school children, kindergarten through eighth grades attended the service, offering a child-like choir effect to the music throughout the service.