Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 1, 2014

Community celebrates National Day of Prayer

PRINCETON — Sunshine broke through gray skies Thursday as prayers and songs were offered to mark the National Day of Prayer services in Mercer County.

Area residents, officials and pastors gathered outside the Mercer County Courthouse for a program of patriotic songs and prayers. This year’s theme was described by the biblical verse Romans 15:6 – “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Pastor Robin Buchanan started off services on the courthouse steps by playing the guitar and leading guests in singing “America the Beautiful.” Local pastors and lay people then lead prayers for local municipal and county governments, the state government, the national government, local schools and the nation’s education system, military personnel both home and aboard, local churches, churches worldwide, the people being persecuted for their beliefs.

“Father, we thank you for this privilege that we have,” said the Rev. Dan Jividen of Emmanuel Baptist Church, who prayed for the local governments and chambers of commerce serving the public.

Pastor David Dockery of the First Baptist Church lead prayers for the president and vice president of the United States, members of Congress and other federal elected officials.

“May they not look to men and women around them, but look to you for wisdom,” he prayed.

Prayers for local schools and the national school system were lead by Scott Catron of the Cornerstone Family Church. He pointed out that Mercer County was the only county in the state that offered a Bible in the Schools program, and lead prayers asking for God to continue supporting it. He also asked God to offer guidance to the Mercer County Board of Education.

“May they be sensitive to your spirit, to the family unit, and not just to what is best for the education system,” he said.

For visitors who came to the National Day of Prayer service, it was an opportunity to express both faith in God and patriotism.

“I came because I love my country with all my heart,” said Cathy Stilwell of Princeton, who raised a small American flag during prayers. “I pray for my country all the time.”

She also liked a thought expressed by the pastors. “Let’s not be mad at our leaders. Let’s pray for them.”

Tracy Sibley, 78, of Athens, said he was a Navy veteran who served during the Korean War era.

“I just believe in America so much, I’m a flag waver,” he said. “There’s just something in my heart. I believe in our political system and I feel that God is still on the throne.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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