National Day of Prayer celebrated around the area

Published 10:00 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

LANETT — The National Day of Prayer was observed on Thursday of this week. Local gatherings took place at J. Smith Lanier II Park in downtown West Point at 11 a.m. EDT and on the playground across from W.O. Lance Elementary School in Lanett during the noon hour. The Lanett Senior Center held its observance at 11 a.m. on Friday.

Gary Wright, a deacon at Pilgrim Baptist Church, Lanett, was the emcee for the senior center program. Praying with the seniors were Floyd Aikens, Frankie Hutchinson and Jerry Ledbetter.

Hutchinson is the pastor of Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church in Valley’s River View community and Ledbetter is in his 20th year as pastor of the West Point First Presbyterian Church, He’s also a member of the West Point City Council as is Lanett Senior Center Manager Sandra Thornton. Ledbetter told the seniors that West Point and Lanett are both home to him. He lives on West Point’s east bank and has a church on the west bank. He is a 1987 gradate of Lanett High School, where he was the drum major for the Golden Panther Band.

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Hutchinson is a 1980 graduate of Valley High. He’s been a minister for the past 15 years, 11 of them at Evergreen.

Aikens and wife Floy are dedicated members of the senior center. They are there almost every Monday through Friday. Mr. Aikens is a retired minister, having served Happy Valley Baptist Church for 20 years.

“We need to keep praying with each other and for each other,” Wright told the seniors in opening the program. When Hutchinson asked the group “How many of you believe in the power of prayer?” everyone in the room raised their hand and said ‘Amen!”

“Anytime someone prays it’s a good thing,” Ledbetter said. “Each one of us needs to have a heart for Christ.”

The first Thursday of each month is annually observed as the National Day of Prayer. It has been so designated by an act of Congress. Each year, the president signs a proclamation for the National Day of Prayer encouraging Americans “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.”

This year’s theme is “to pray fervently in righteousness and avail much.”