“National Day of Prayer is a flashpoint in Bartow County for a lot of different things and for a lot of good things” said David Franklin, associational missionary for the Bartow Baptist Association and a member of Bartow’s National Day of Prayer Committee. “ ... [Last year] we sensed that we needed to have an overall goal of encouraging and equipping people to pray God’s word. Praying the word of God means you’re praying in agreement with God and there’s something special about praying God’s word.
“So we were talking about it, how do we do that, etc., etc. And we ended up ... [reaching out to] bring all these churches together. ... In nine locations, we’ll have Sunday night Prayer Gatherings [on April 27]. It will be the same service in every location. The same Biblical prayers will be prayed. We’ve got over 60 ministers involved that will be on the platform.”
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 27, the Prayer Gatherings will be held at The Church at Liberty Square, 2001 Liberty Square Drive, Cartersville; Cartersville First Baptist, 241 Douthit Ferry Road, Cartersville; New Covenant, Spanish-speaking service, 5425 Highway 20 N.E., Cartersville; Taylorsville Baptist, 19 Church St., Taylorsville; Euharlee Baptist, 1103 Euharlee Road, Euharlee; Emerson First Baptist, 260 Joe Frank Harris Parkway S.E., Cartersville; NorthPointe, 53 Oak Grove Road, Adairsville; Kingston United Methodist, 17 Elliott St., Kingston; and Wofford’s CrossRoads Baptist, 222 Old Tennessee Highway N.E., White.
Following the Prayer Gatherings, Read Through the Bible events will be conducted from April 28 at 7 a.m. to May 1 at 9 a.m. at various sites across the county, including 1903 Bartow County Courthouse’s front porch, 115 W. Cherokee Ave., Cartersville; Adairsville Gazebo, 105 N. Main St., Adairsville; Emerson City Hall, 700 Georgia Highway 293, Emerson; beside three crosses at Euharlee Baptist Church, 1103 Euharlee Road, Euharlee; Kingston Park Pavilion, West Main Street, Kingston; Taylorsville Town Hall Building (Old Fire Station), Euharlee Street, Taylorsville; and White Park Pavilion, Rocky Street N.E., White. Individuals — children and adults — wanting to read scripture are encouraged to sign up at www.praybartow.com.
“We will read the Bible starting in Genesis and read all the way through the Bible 24 hours a day until we’re finished. And that will happen Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, up until Thursday morning some place in every town in Bartow County,” Franklin said, adding the selected cities possess mayors and city councils. “... We believe that the Bible is actually God’s word. So what we’re choosing to do is to just read the very words and the heart of God publically.”
The new offerings will culminate with Bartow’s National Day of Prayer ceremony May 1 at noon. To be held on the steps of the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center at 135 W. Cherokee Ave., the program will consist of a community choir, proclamation reading and prayers.
“The purpose of the National Day of Prayer is [it is] a time to draw our attention back to God,” said Dr. Jacob T. King, executive pastor at The Church at Liberty Square and chairman of Bartow’s National Day of Prayer Committee. “We believe in the power of prayer and it’s another way of bringing believers together to exercise their freedom to call out on the name of God.
“... The National Day of Prayer, of course, it’s a national event, it happens all over the nation, but it’s also a very localized event as well. It brings together people that maybe wouldn’t otherwise get to worship together. We see a lot of different denominations and churches that come together ... around what we have in common. This year what we’re highlighting is really what brings us together is a belief in two things and that is a belief in the word of God, the Bible, and a belief in prayer.”
Created by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress in 1952, the National Day of Prayer was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman and is recognized annually on the first Thursday of May. Along with being the guests of honor, local government officials will be playing a key role in the observance. In addition to the gathering being held at the courthouse, Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor will lead a proclamation signing to mark its significance.
Along with National Day of Prayer and the events preceding the event being promoted on www.praybartow.com, Franklin said the website in the future will serve as a central location for the community to gather in prayer.
“Our goal is that more believers will be encouraged and equipped to pray God’s word so that the praybartow.com [website] will be our community prayer website,” Franklin said. “... None of us have the answer [to questions, such as] how do you stop drugs? We don’t have the answer, but God does. So what we want to do is be a blessing in this community. So we’re going to be praying for this community as efficiently and as effectively as we can.”