State legislator speaks at courthouse square ceremony –
Story and photos by Patricia Beech –
Christian values were the focus on Thursday, May 4 during the 66th National Day of Prayer held on courthouse square in West Union.
Temperamental spring weather forced those attending the ceremony to take refuge inside the front hall of the courthouse to escape the cold, seasonal rain that fell throughout most of the event.
Standing on the front steps of the courthouse Ohio Representative Terry Johnson told the gathering, “National Day of Prayer is a wonderful thing, but more important is what’s happening in communities across our country with people coming together and understanding that turning to God is the thing that’s most important in our personal lives, and therefore most important in the lives of our families, our communities, and our country.”
Several local ministers spoke and led community members in prayers for families, churches, educators, the military, the media, government, and businesses.
Commissioners Diane Ward and Ty Pell presented a proclamation reading: “Be it resolved that the Adams County Board of Commissioners request members of the community to join us in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy and call upon individuals in Adams County to pray for guidance, grace, and protection, as we address the many challenges of our time, the Board hereby designates Thursday, May 4, 2017 as National Day of Prayer in Adams County.”
A selection of gospel music was presented by Adams County Recorder Mark Tolle and an all-female choral group also performed.
A fixture since President Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer 58 years ago on April 17, 1952, President Ronald Reagan amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer.
According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force, more than 35,000 prayer gatherings were conducted by about 40,000 volunteers across the United States to mark the event. Several million people were expected to participate in this year’s call to prayer.
Representative Johnson, who spoke about difficult periods in American history including the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, World War II, and civil unrest, said, “There is a great struggle taking place today, and we are not necessarily winning. I can tell you America has seen darker times. We were a nation of God, a praying nation and the people lifted their voices to heaven then – as we should now.”