WEIRTON - It was a message of hope, unity and prosperity for the future of Weirton Thursday during local observances of the National Day of Prayer.
Approximately 60 area residents gathered in the Rose Room of the Millsop Community Center for the annual observance organized by the Weirton Ministerial Association.
Several members of the Ministerial Association led the crowd in a variety of prayers, seeking guidance for public officials, local clergy, the military, police and fire personnel and families.
GATHER FOR DAY OF PRAYER — Approximately 60 Weirton area residents gathered in the Rose Room of the Millsop Community Center Thursday to observe the National Day of Prayer. The annual service is organized by the Weirton Ministerial Association. -- Craig Howell
Tom Derby, minister of Colliers Way Church of Christ, discussed the importance of prayer, noting he thought of the words of John 3:16 and decided to pray each day at 3:16 p.m., no matter where he is.
"The amazing this is the people who offer to pray with you," he said, explaining he has pulled off the road and even began praying in the grocery check-out line.
Bishop J.D. Wall of Tri-State Church of God offered prayers for the president and nation, adding it is important to put hope in Jesus for the nation to prosper.
"I'm proud to be an American and very proud of our country," Wall said.
The Rev. Craig Greathouse, of Family of God Christian Center, prayed for families, noting it is important to fathers to step up and accept their responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Sam Williams, of Christ the King, discussed the importance of spreading positivity through the community, saying he too often hears of the negative aspects of Weirton and West Virginia.
"We don't call things the way we see them," he said, encouraging residents to stop repeating the negative and look for the positive. "We call them the way we want them."
The Rev. Andrew Bush of Chapel Hill Wesleyan offered prayers for the nation's military and first responders as they protect the nation and the lives of its citizens.
The Rev. Darrell Maze of Kings Creek Union Chapel called for a revival and reawakening to get the country on a better path.
"That's something we definitely need to leave in the hands of God," Maze said, explaining there is no set formula
The Rev. Bob Mazeroski, of New Life Worship Center, took time to announce plans for regular gatherings of residents - no matter the denomination - to pray together.
"We're just trying to put something regular together," Mazeroski said, explaining the gatherings would rotate through the churches in the city. "We call this a prayer movement."
Mayor George Kondik also was on hand, presenting the Ministerial Association with an official proclamation to recognize the National Day of Prayer observance in the city.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)