Community gathers to pray for first responders
(January 13, 2021 Issue)
By Loretta Cozart
On Saturday, January 9, Kings Mountain Ministerial Association held a Community Prayer Rally at Patriots Park Gazebo at noon. The day after Kings Mountain’s first snow of the year, a small crowd gathered as spiritual leaders from across the city, and beyond, joined in praying for first responders in the community. The prayers were heartfelt and are summarized here so that all who missed the event might hear their words and remember the first responders.
Pastor Ron Caulder, Pastor of Eastside Baptist Church and President of the KM Ministerial Association opened the prayer event saying, “We have a sovereign God; we have been through some very difficult times over the last 10 months. We certainly need Him in the hour we are living in here today. We come to praise His holy name and pray for people who are special to us who are helping us to get through this pandemic and praying for the Lord’s deliverance. In time, the Lord will deliver us.”
Dr. Jonathan Bundon, Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church led the group in song, singing the Lord’s Prayer to begin the prayer rally.
Rev. Corey Gaines of Maiden Chapel in Maiden, NC, prayed for Healthcare Workers saying, “We pray and commit them to you, oh God, asking that You be their strength like no other. We pray right now, in the name of Jesus, that You give them the tenacity to keep moving forward. We know, God, that nothing is impossible with You. With You, all things are possible. We come against the spirit of the virus in the name of Jesus.”
Praying for Fire and
Rescue was Rev. Greg Neely of Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church who said, “Many people pursue a career and realize later in life, they should have pursued a calling. Others pursue a calling and make it a career. Father, as they make their shifts, my prayer is that You help sustain Fire and Rescue workers spiritually. As they lie in their bunks, may it not be idle time. May they find themselves drawn with the need and desire to study Your word, so when they leave out, they leave out with purpose. God, give them the vision to see that those they help are people, just like the rest of us, and they may be helping them in the very hour of their greatest need. Father, would You keep them safe, not only for their own benefit, but for ours, in Jesus’ name we pray.”
Rev. Brian Taule of David Baptist Church prayed for retail workers.
“God, I pray for protection for those ones that stand behind the register as we pick up our groceries, being exposed to who knows what. Not just ones in the grocery store, but all of the retail establishment. God, protect them. We thank You for them and we thank You for living in a county where we can go. Thank You for the blessing of just being able to shop and not have all the stores closed.”
Dr. Rob Patrick of Boyce Memorial ARP Church prayed for the educators. “In this time of unprecedented challenge and difficulty for our educators, we pray for those throughout our nation, our state, and particularly here in Cleveland County that they might know you and be strengthened by Your spirit.”
Praying for Law Enforcement was Rev. Jeff Longwell, Pastor of Penley’s Chapel. “I ask You, oh God, to put Your blessing and Your protection upon our Law Enforcement Officers as we think about all the things they have been through this year. Many have laid down their lives, Lord. We know You said that there is no greater love that a man could give than to lay down his life for his friends. These men and women are called to the duties they do. You have put them in that place, and we trust You to bring them safely home to their families night after night. As they lay their live on the line, may they have eternity with you in their hearts.”
Rev. Reginald Hartgrove of New Life Christian Church shared a prayer for the Transporters, “Father, in Jesus name we come humbly before You to thank You for your grace, Your mercy, and Your loving kindness. We praise You before we ask You for anything. As we lift up every transporter, You appeared to and guided the children of Israel and we ask that You do so in a like manner to every transporter. Guide them, protect them, keep them from seen and unseen dangers. Let Your grace, let Your mercy abide heavily upon them in Jesus name.”
Volunteers were prayed for by Rev. Paul Brintley of Fellowship Baptist in Dallas, NC. “You know, a volunteer is a person who remembers to do things that makes other people happy. When we have times of service, they can be so intense and physically draining for volunteers. I pray Your blessing on each volunteer that You have brought to serve during this trying time. I ask that You set a guard over each volunteer and keep them strong in You. You promised that You will be our strength, so I ask you to give each volunteer the measure of strength that they will need to accomplish what You have called them to do even though they are not compensated financially. You said in your word that You would reward them if they stored it up where no moth or rust can destroy. So, Father, I ask You to reward them mightily.”
Dr. Moses Nueman, Director of World Care Ministries prayed for Ministers and Churches. “Father, God, you ordained the Church. You ordained that that is a place of refuge, a place where we can run into and find refuge. It is also a place the community calls the Watchtower. You have also ordained ministers who are the Watchmen on the tower. You have asked us to go into the world and preach the gospel. We thank You for the city of Kings Mountain and the whole community we have here. We want to thank You, Father God, for the ministers in the area who worship You in spirt and in truth. Thank You for the Kings Mountain Ministerial Association that brings us together. Let Your name be glorified and let Your love abide in us. Most of all, have mercy on our Country and grant us peace.”
Rev. Bruce Gwyn of Central United Methodist Church prayed for Government workers saying, “God of all ages, in Your sight and in Your time nations have risen and they have fallen. Lord, they pass through times of plenty and they pass through times of peril. In this turbulent time, my all of our leaders be led by Your wisdom. May our leaders seek Your will and not theirs. Lord, if they do not see clearly and have turned from Your way, I pray that they will repent. You are our hope, God. You are our strength, our help in our time of need. Serving through the light that You shine upon their minds and their hearts.”
A prayer for our community was offered by Rev. William Thompson of William Thompson Ministries and Coffee Time with a Preacher. “Community is defined by all the different entities we have prayed for already. They have been called, one by one. As we call God to remember us, we want to remember Him as our creator, as our redeemer, and as a healer of our land. Dear Father, we lift up the Kings Mountain Community. We ask that we understand who we lift the community up to, the Creator, the very One who brings about all the things we so desperately seek. I want to lift up the community and ask for peace, ask for joy, ask for love, kindness, forgiveness, loving on one another, that this community will be the very place we would want to bring our children, and our children’s children. And whenever we look at this place, that we will remember one thing. That the center of Kings Mountain is The Christ.”
Dr. John Sloan, Jr., known by many as ‘Brother Chip’, shared a word of thanks, “Our gracious heavenly Father, You have instructed us that we should rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. In obedience to You, we have gathered together, we have sung, we have rejoiced in our fellowship. We have prayed, Lord, specific prayers for specific needs. Lord, now we just want to give thanks to You. We thank You for Jesus, for he is our helper. I thank You for this land we call America. You have for so many years protected us and given us a place of protection. We thank You for how you have blessed us with this great land. Lord, we thank You for the government, for the wisdom of the founders, who designed a government that is truly for the people and by the people. The technology we enjoy today is a gift from You. Lord, I give you thanks for this town. May daughter, who is a wife and a mother of two little children just riding into Kings Mountain not long ago burst out with the words, ‘I love this little town.’ And Lord, I do love this little town. We are grateful for it. We are grateful, Father, for every citizen who is here. And we thank You Lord for every church that stands to minister for You to build harmony and unity. Lord, we give You thanks for the big things and the little things. In the precious name of Jesus.”
Pastor John Wilcox of First Presbyterian Church offered the closing prayer, saying, “I think everything has been said that could be said. It is wonderful to be here and see a community that has come together for the needs of the people of the community. It is such a blessing to be a part of this. We pray that Christ may grant us, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with the power in our inner being through his spirit. So that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. To Him, be glory and the Church, and Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.”
Pastor Ron Caulder of Eastside Baptist Church thanked all the ministers for participating and concluded by saying, “The Lord has heard our prayers here and we give him praise. May you now go in peace. God Bless you.”
After the event, the Herald asked Officer T. Bell what this event meant to him as a member of Kings Mountain Police Department. “As far as the community standing behind our police officers, it means the world to me. When the community and police work together, it fits like a hand in a glove,” he said.