By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
An uncommon sight met passersby at the courthouse square in Tarboro Thursday at noon – a circle of people joining their hands and lifting their voices in prayer.
“We’re of different faiths but all have the same belief,” said Edgecombe County Commissioner Viola Harris, coordinator of the gathering celebrating the National Day of Prayer.
Rev. Minnie Terry echoed Harris’ thought in her prayer, thanking God for every participant at the gathering.
“We love the name of Jesus, and that’s why we’re standing in this circle today,” she said, adding that she was glad to see more people at this year’s day of prayer than last year.
“It’s good to have all people coming together,” said Sheriff James Knight, a participant in the prayer event, which brought together county residents of different Christian denominations, walks of life, races and ages.
“Prayer goes across all lines,” said Harris. Among the youngest participants were Jameson Harrell, 5, and his brother, Bronson Harrell, 7.
“They get to see different ways that people pray,” said the boys’ mother Babs Harrell, who is of the Baptist faith. “It’s good to see that even though we are different denominations, we can still come together to pray.”
The event included prayers for local, state and national leaders. The Honorable Carol Allen White, Edgecombe County Clerk of Court, prayed for local leaders. Eric Crowe, pastor of First Baptist Church of Tarboro, prayed that God would give wisdom to North Carolina’s leaders.
“The Word tells us that every authority has been established by you and they are there for a reason,” Crowe said. “Help us, O God, not to walk by sight but to walk by faith.”
Rev. William M. Parker, pastor of Rocky Point Missionary Baptist Church in Spring Hope, prayed for a revival of the nation’s leaders.
“Change minds, O God, that we will turn from our wicked ways, that you will now change the course of this great nation,” Parker prayed. “Bless the leadership, O God, of this nation, that they will unite, O God, for the good of all the people.”
To Parker, the prosperity of America is dependent on the return of its’ leadership to God and Christian morals.
“We have strayed away from the precepts of God…and we wonder why we’re losing our foothold as leaders of the world. When the nation no longer fears God, we have lost our footing.”
The crowd applauded Parker’s prayer.
Harris ended the gathering by saying to the crowd,
“Let this not be the last day that we come together to pray together to one God.”
Harris has been coordinating the prayer gathering in Tarboro for eight years because she believes being able to express one’s faith is important.
“My faith is what kept me going to be able to serve as a county commissioner,” she said. “You
carry it with you all the time.”