Last Thursday, May 5 was a day that I have never experienced before in my life. It was a day that I would have never believed until I saw it with my very own eyes. It wasn’t because it was the National Day of Prayer because I have attended four of these events here in Rusk County in the four and half years I have lived here.

First, I attended both the Community Prayer Breakfast at the Henderson Civic Center that morning and the Rusk County Prayer Service held at the Rusk County Courthouse just before noon. It was great seeing ministers from various religious backgrounds, city and county officials as well as peace officers from the Henderson Police Department and Rusk County Sheriff’s Office. Not only did these leaders attend but participated in the prayer event. Then there were those citizens that attended to support the prayer event.

It was a great morning as pastors from different backgrounds and races each lead a special prayer for our community, state, and nation. What a great sign of unity in our county when there is so much division across our nation and world. Even though last year it was called the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast last year and the name was changed this year to Community Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the Henderson Ministerial Alliance, it was great to see Buzz Fullen, Mayor of Henderson, not only pray but serve as Master of Ceremonies for the entire prayer event.

With all the negative publicity that is going on across our nation in many school districts, it was very encouraging to see our HISD Superintendent Dr. Thurston Lamb not only lead everyone in prayer but also read a scripture from the Bible. My first thought was, is this a community event or a church service? If there were more Superintendents in our nation like Dr. Lamb our school districts wouldn’t be in the news in such a negative way.

Everyone there made me proud to be a part of a community like this. I left there encouraged and impressed all at the same time thinking it just doesn’t get in better than this, especially with everything that’s going on all across our world today. I personally believe that God and Prayer are truly the answer to all the issues that our nation is facing today yet so few ever practice it and most of our leaders today never lead us in it.

I stand corrected about it not getting better than this morning’s event when I attended the Rusk County National Day of Prayer event at the Rusk County Courthouse I was taken back. Usually, the prayer event is held on the courthouse steps but because of potential severe weather our leaders didn’t cancel the event but moved it inside to the District Courtroom. Thank you Judge Clay Gossett for opening your courtroom up to the public not for a hearing or a trial but of all things a prayer meeting. My first thought was, somebody, pinch me I think I’m dreaming. The room was full of people uniting in prayer for our community, state, nation, and world. The amazing thing is all those who led the prayers were county officials. Maybe they should run for state and national offices. We sure could use some Godly leadership right now.

The first official to start the event off in prayer was Henderson Police Department, Lt. Charles Helton. It didn’t take me long when I first met him to discern, that this man is for real. Then one by one each County Commissioner stepped up front to lead the group. First, Commissioner Greg Gibson led everyone in the pledge of allegiance to our nation and Texas flags, followed by Robert Kuykendall, Bennie Whitworth, and Randy Gaut who lead everyone in a prayer. Immediately following was a group of singers from the First United Methodist Church Daycare and man did they sing their hearts out.

As the event started coming to a close Henderson Police Department Chaplain Stacie Horne read a devotion that challenged the group in their walk with God and the Bible. Finally, to close the exciting event Sheriff John Wayne Valdez prayed the final prayer. Can I get a witness or amen!

I finally realized that I was not dreaming and I was not in a Church building, I’m right on the front row of the District Courtroom on the top floor of the Rusk County Courthouse. This has to be a miracle! I have never heard of anything like this anywhere in our nation. This is one of the reasons why I say the leaders of Rusk County made me proud.

Dan Moore is editor and publisher of The Henderson News. His e-mail address is <publisher@thehendersonnews.com>.© 2021, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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