The Mount Airy Ministerial Association, along with city and county officials, observed the National Day of Prayer on Thursday at noon on the front lawn of the Mount Airy Municipal Building.
This year marks the 66th-annual National Day of Prayer, which was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
In 2010, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the National Day of Prayer violated the constitutional separation of church and state but a federal appeals court overturned the ruling the next year on the grounds that the group challenging the law did not have the standing to bring the case, states CBS News online archives. Crabb’s ruling provided that National Day of Prayer not be blocked until the appeals process was completed, reported CNN at the time, so the annual observance proceeded without interruption.
The Mount Airy Ministerial Association reported that the local gathering this year was one of about 40,000 gatherings at a variety of locations in the U.S.
The ceremony opened with presenting of the colors by East Surry Army Junior ROTC while the national anthem was sung by Juanita Gillespie. A scheduled trumpet prelude by Don Warren was cancelled due to illness.
Rev. D.M. Dalton welcomed the 26 people who came out to observe the event, followed by a scripture reading by Evangelist Florence Green.
Mayor David L. Rowe made a National Day of Prayer proclamation and Rev. Tim Burton led a prayer for America’s hope.
Dr. David Sparks spoke on this year’s theme, “For Your Great Name’s Sake! Hear Us, Forgive Us and Heal Us” taken from Daniel 9:19 and other scriptures. He concluded with a benediction.
Juanita Gillespie sang “God Bless America” and encouraged the group to sing along.
Audience member Celeste Poindexter stated afterward that she tries to come every year and loved the part about “Hallow the Lord’s name once again.” She also enjoyed The Lord’s Prayer.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.