• 75°

National Day of Prayer May 2: To be held on lawn on county courthouse

Next Thursday, members of the Ironton Ministerial Association will gather at noon on the lawn of the Lawrence County Courthouse to as part of the National Day of Prayer.

First Church of the Nazarene pastor Rob Hale said the ministerial association has held the event in Lawrence County ever since it was first introduced into law in 1988 and local pastors gather to pray for government leaders, those serving in the military, teachers and those in education, business leaders, those in the media, for the church and for families.

“It is a reminder that we still have the freedom to pray publicly. It draws people together and reminds us how important it is to pray,” Hale said.

This year’s theme for the national event is “Love One Another.”

The event is usually held on the steps of the courthouse, but the Fifth Street entrance is closed for repairs to the building’s stonework. So, attendees are asked to gather on the Park Avenue side of the courthouse for the ceremony.

Hale said Pastor Carson Hunt of the First Presbyterian Church went to the courthouse to ask where they could hold the event while the area around the steps was closed for renovations.

“They said ‘Well, you can use the Park Avenue side.’ No questions asked, they were all for it,” Hale said. “I thought it was so great that we live in a city where we don’t have to get a permit, we don’t have to go to the mayor or the commissioners to get permission to pray on the courthouse lawn. I think that is pretty cool.”

Hale said the size of the crowd depends on the weather. Three years ago, the weather for the event was beautiful and attracted about 100 people.

“Last two years, it has been chilly and we were lucky to get 35-40 people,” he said. “But, it looks like the weather is going to be good for next Thursday.”

About three years ago, the ministerial association decided to serve hot dogs, chips and drinks to those who gather to pray.

Hale said the reached that decision  to feed the people since so many came on their lunch break.

“We thought we’d have more people come. Guess what, we probably had ten times more come than we ever had before,” he said, with a laugh. “It was hilarious.”