Community members gather for prayer Thursday at Pacific Ave. veterans plaza

Local liturgical leaders are poised to ‘Lift Up the Word – Light up the World’ during the 2024 National Day of Prayer observation Thursday.
The noontime observance May 2 coincides with similar events across the country, crafted “to mobilize unified public prayer for America,” according to
This year is the 73rd annual event since President Harry S. Truman first proclaimed the joint gathering for July 4, 1952. President Ronald Reagan later moved the ceremony to the first Thursday in May.
Gladewater’s prayer event is centered on the Veterans’ Memorial Plaza maintained by Gladewater Former Students Association downtown on East Pacific Avenue. According to local organizer Lois Reed of Gladewater Chamber of Commerce, the 12 p.m. kick-off aims to accommodate community members’ during their lunch hour.
For the prayers themselves, “We have community leaders and pastors intermingled,” she said.
Former Gladewater Mayor JD Shipp will serve as Master of Ceremonies during the 2024 event, which opens with Gladewater High School Choir Members performing the National Anthem under the direction of Darren Richardson.
Nine local civic and religious leaders have been invited to offer prayers during the event. Each has been delegated a particular theme beginning with Pastor Joe Chase’s ‘Prayer for the Nation’ followed by Gladewater Council Member, pastor and veteran Teddy Sorrells’ praying for the United States Military.
Prayers for the community, churches, schools and families will be offered, respectively, by pastors Kelton Wilson, Brian Zappa, Stacy Price and council member Rocky Hawkins. Gladewater Mayor Pro Tem Sonny Anderson will follow with a prayer for emergency responders (EMS, firefighters and police officers).
After a ‘Prayer for Israel’ by Pastor Farrell Alexander, the Rev. Bailey Harris will offer a closing prayer for peace.
For more information, contact Reed at 903-845-5501.

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