Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 2, 2014

Banding together through faith

National Day of Prayer services expanded in Boyd

CANNONSBURG — In the event’s seventh year, organizers of National Day of Prayer celebrations at the Kyova Mall expanded the observance to all day.

Thursday’s activities included afternoon tea, acoustic gospel music performed live in the coffeehouse area, as well as coffee and prayer in the chapel area open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The annual church service was at noon in the mall lobby.

Stacy Keelin, director of Woman’s Missionary Union at Garner Missionary Baptist Church, has organized the event since it began, along with the help of fellow church members.

Keelin said adding activities in the afternoon and evening expanded the celebration’s reach to those who could not make it to the mall early in the day.

“Those working in the mall said their busiest time of day is around noon, but hopefully they can come to the activities we have scheduled for later,” she said, adding the prayer chapel will especially help those who didn’t have the opportunity to attend the midday service.

Garner Pastor Gary Arrington is in charge of securing the speakers each year. He said he usually brings in a mix of leaders, including those who work in public service and people of various denominations. This year, they were all Baptist-affiliated.

The patriotic service consisted of six talks on what Keelin called the “seven pillars,” after which the speakers and audience collectively sang “God Bless the USA” and “God Bless America.”

The lectures included discussions about increasing prayer for the media, churches, families, schools, businesses, the government and the military.

“Praying for each of these is important to the health of our nation,” Keelin said.

“Being able to openly hold an entire church service in the middle of a public place is amazing,” Arrington said. “It’s such a testament to the great freedoms we have in this country.

The Boyd County High School JROTC opened the service with a presentation of colors.

Keelin said the church service typically attracts around 200, but Arrington estimated the crowd was larger than usual.

The Kyova Mall event was one of several Day of Prayer events conducted locally. The Ashland Transportation Center in the 1500 block of Greenup Avenue was the site for the day’s first prayer and praise meeting, co-hosted by King’s Daughters Medical Center and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. The event’s format was set up to honor seven in the community who are spiritual leaders in the areas of education, media, business, religion, family, arts and entertainment and government.

Representatives for those areas were David Greene (education), George Davis (government), Jim Forrest (media), Deanna Bradley (arts and entertainment), Steve Barber (family), Steve Barfield (business) and Ike Nicholson (religion). Each offered a prayer for their area, Gute said.

 The Boyd County Republican Women’s Club had a prayer event in Central Park, with Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles speaking. And, Greenup County’s annual NDP Prayer Walk took place in Russell and Flatwoods.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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