Members of the community turned out Sunday afternoon to join in a special "Prayer Service for Schools" observance at the DeKalb County High School gym.
The prayer service has become an annual event conducted by local ministers offering prayers for each school as well as the students, teachers, transportation staff, and other employees. "It started out a long time ago with a group of teachers who got together on the Sunday before school started and prayed. Each year they invited more and more people. Somewhere along the line someone said we need to keep this thing going so we started organizing and getting the ministers involved. We try to get ministers from all across the county from different denominations because it's great when different denominations come together to praise God and pray. I truly believe God blesses those efforts," said local minister Larry Green who moderated the program Sunday.
Among the local ministers participating were Larry Steffee of the Center Hill Brethren In Christ (who prayed for Smithville Elementary School), Jimmy Arms of the Upper Helton Baptist Church (who prayed for DeKalb West School), Isaac Gray of the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church (who prayed for DCHS), Phil Tollett of the Allen's Chapel and Buckner's Chapel United Methodist Churches (who prayed for the Transportation Department), Jeff Armstrong of the Smithville Church of God (who prayed for Northside Elementary School), and Don Davidson of the Real Life Community Church (who prayed for DeKalb Middle School)
Green gave persons in the audience an opportunity to offer a prayer. Luke Willoughby stepped forward to pray for parents and their children and School Board member Kenny Rhody prayed for the school board.
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby also made some remarks at the beginning of the program on the importance of prayer.
After the program, Green spoke with WJLE. "I think in everything we do, we need to bathe it in prayer. The Bible tells us we need to pray about everything. The scripture says pray without ceasing so prayer is an important part of our lives as Christians and as people of God so we need to pray for our school system. If we don't have enough faith in God to protect our school system and protect our students, teachers, and administration then we need to take a look at what we're really about because prayer is that lifeline," said Green.
(TOP PHOTO: Larry Steffee, Jimmy Arms, Isaac Gray, Phil Tollett, Jeff Armstrong, Don Davidson, and Larry Green)