By CHRIS AGEE
Pastors, community leaders and individuals from across the county gathered in the Palo Pinto County Courthouse Annex Thursday at noon to take part in the 62nd annual National Day of Prayer.
Nathan Buchanan, pastor of First Baptist Church of Mineral Wells, welcomed attendees, explaining the theme of this year's event is found in Matthew 12:21: "In His name the nations will put their trust."
Faith Fellowship Chapel Pastor Ted Oliver read the first proclamation of a Day of Prayer, issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Mayor Mike Allen followed by presenting his own proclamation signifying the importance of the day to the local community and beyond.
Individuals representing seven distinct groups – church, family, government, military, education,media and business – spoke briefly and delivered intercessory prayers during the event.
Charles Davis, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, spoke on behalf of the church, explaining denominational differences between believers are far less important than believing in God's word.
"If you believe in Jesus Christ, then that is the answer," he said.
During his invocation, Davis prayed "for our country, and I pray for our city that every day would be a national prayer day."
Gabe Nickerson represented the family structure, emphasizing the vital role of such a unique bond in our society.
"To destroy these United States is to destroy the family," he said.
Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan explained his belief that "government is a servant" prior to his prayer.
"Under God's will we all prosper and are blessed," he added.
Col. Willie Casper delivered a prayer for the military, explaining God sustained him throughout his years in the service.
"I've been through three wars and I'm grateful the Lord looked after me," he said.
Among the remaining speakers was Beth Henary Watson, executive director of the Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce.
Watson prayed for local businesses of all sizes, "especially those facing uncertainty at this time."
The event, traditionally held at the gazebo in Zappe Park, was relocated to an indoor facility Thursday due to weather.