The local service, and others across the nation were held despite the controversy now surrounding it. Last month, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that the law that directs the president to proclaim a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. On April 22, President Barack Obama’s administration appealed the ruling to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
President Obama’s proclamation designating May 6, 2010, as a National Day of Prayer acknowledges the religious diversity of the United States.
The Presidential Proclamation, which was read at the service by Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock, states, “I call upon the citizens of our Nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God's continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us.”
In his welcoming remarks, Judge Brock reminded the crowd of the controversy and the movement to abolish the National Day of Prayer. He added that it was a movement he strongly opposed, as did many others. “Your presence shows that you also disagree with that movement,” Brock told the crowd.
Others speaking at the local event included Rev. Ron Howard, pastor First Baptist Church of Pineville (prayer of repentance); Rev. Ron Sylvester, pastor of Nazarene Church of Pineville (prayer for the church); Commonwealth Attorney Karen Greene Blondell (prayer for the government); First Priority Director Emery Minton Jr. (prayer for the family); Sissy Cawood, Pineville School Board member (prayer for education); World War II Veteran Leo Taylor (prayer for the military); Brian O’Brien, 106.3 Radio Station (prayer for the media); Jay Steele, Arnett & Steele Funeral Home (prayer for business); Jason Creech, Founder Mirror-Mirror Ministry (prayer for youth); and Father Amal, rector of St. Anthony’s and St. Julian Catholic Churches, concluded the service with a prayer for the nation.
Also participating were Pineville Mayor Sherwin Rader, Ginny Fraley, Bell County High School Choir, and the American Legion Dewey Guy Post #14 Color Guard.
The prayer service was taped and will be broadcast locally Monday, May 10, at 8 p.m. on Channels 13 and 7.
Donna Greene is the lifestyles editor for the Middlesboro Daily News. Contact her via e-mail at email@example.com.