Hundreds gather at capitol steps for National Day of Prayer ceremony

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Many gathered at the steps of the state capitol Thursday in honor of National Day of Prayer.

Prayers for education, government, military, church, family, Thanksgiving, and revival were each led by different individuals, some of them including Dr. Daniel Anderson of Appalachian Bible College, Justice Tim Armstead with the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, Reverend Joseph Pauley of Open Door Church, and Pastor Philip Dunn of Valley Christian Assembly.

Gov. Jim Justice also paid a visit to sign the National Day of Prayer Governor’s proclamation, which was read by Deputy Chief of Staff, Anne Urling.

Coordinating the event were Carol and Harry Hanshaw, who feel the nation could use the prayers.

“Our nation is in a bad place right now, of course, prayer is always important, but if we pull together and pray for our nation it will make a difference,” Harry Hanshaw said.

A volunteer at the event from Tabernacle of Praise in Cross Lanes, Christopher Wills said the state of West Virginia also needs the prayers along with the nation.

“We need to get West Virginia, and not just West Virginia, we need to get the nation back on track,” said Wills. “This nation was founded on Jesus Christ and we’ve fallen short on that promise to keep God in our lives.”

A couple school students also led in prayers. This included a third-grade student from the Bible Center Church praying for his whole class of thirty students in attendance at the event, and a 10th grade student from Elk Valley Christian School, Johnathan Graham who was going to be leading everyone in the prayer for family.

“If the family is unified and we’re all going together for one purpose to follow God and do what we’re supposed to then I believe it would help the United States and West Virginia itself immensely,” Graham said.

Other prayers were made for business and the workplace and arts, media and entertainment.

Wills said he is passionate about bringing God back in the government, in education, among other aspects of life.

“You know, we got to pray for West Virginia, because West Virginia, it’s starting to fall short, and we need to build it back up, put God back in charge like it’s supposed to be, back in the schools,” said Wills.

Wills remembers the event being held at the capitol for nearly a decade now, reminiscing on how President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelist Association, Rev. Franklin Graham paid a visit to the event back in 2016 where over 4,000 people were in attendance.

Minister of Summersville Baptist Church and a chaplain candidate in the West Virginia Army National Guard, Clinton Tompkins who was there at Thursday’s event came to join in prayer for the nation’s military, but reminds everyone prayer is important in every part of life.

“Prayer in general is very important,” Tompkins said. “We see in the book of Chronicles where it says if we humble ourselves in prayer God promises to heal, and we’re here to pray for our land, our nation, and for all aspects of life.”

Following the closing prayer from All Nations Revival Center’s Bishop Frederick Hightower, people were going to be standing by to pray for anyone who needed it, which Tompkins said he was going to be one of them assisting in those prayers.

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