A gathering of approximately 100 people came to the the Madison County Courthouse lawn on a cool, windy Thursday for a National Day of Prayer observance.
The event was sponsored by the Richmond Area Ministerial Association.
Several local clergy took to the stage, leading participants in a series of prayers for various for institutions such as the military, government, business, media, education and families.
The Rev. Robert Blythe of the First Baptist Church, Francis Street, Richmond, began one phase of the event by calling for candidates and incumbents of state and local offices to stand before the crowd as he offered a prayer.
Blythe prayed that office seekers and office holders would have the best motives for wanting to serve, and that both officials and voters would approach their respective duties with “wise and understanding hearts.”
The theme of this year’s national event was One Voice United In Prayer, in which the Madison County Court House venue was one of many public prayer gatherings across the United States.
The annual event began in 1988 when President Ronald Reagan signed legislation officially designating the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer.
Madison County Sheriff Mike Coyle, who is running unopposed in the May 20 Democratic Primary for sheriff, said this year’s event was especially important because the country is enduring challenging times.
“I think with all the things we have going on in our nation, one of the best things we can do is come together to pray for our community, our country and our soldiers,” Coyle said.
Pastor Steve Lewis of the Richmond’s First Church of the Nazarene was the main speaker for the event. Lewis, president of the Richmond Area Ministerial Association, noted that prayers from the various pastors covered many facets of American life and business, but the central purpose was in praying for America.
“We’re here to glorify God, and we’re here to pray for our nation,” Lewis said, adding he was pleased with the day’s turnout because it brought together a diverse cross section of Madison County residents, all united in a common purpose. “It’s important, because our nation is more in need of prayer than any time before.”
The event featured musical performances by Elder Virgil Gardner of Pleasant Green Church as well as Bill Eckler and Pam Combs of the Berea Westside Baptist Church.
Eckler is the Berea Police Department’s school resource officer at Madison Southern High School. As an officer who regularly interacts with local youth, Eckler said he wanted to commemorate the National Day of Prayer not only to give personal thanks, but also in the hope that the event will touch those who need it most.
“The Lord has played the most important part in my life since I was nine years old. Even though I let him down sometimes, he’s always there to lift me up,“ Eckler said. “We live in a time when I think a lot of young people are looking for an answer. We just want to share with them that there is hope.”
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Airport getting $600,000 in federal funds
On July 14, Gov. Steve Beshear announced the Madison Airport and the Eastern Kentucky University aviation program would be receiving $1.1 million for expanded and improved facilities.
On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, announced the airport also would benefit from $600,000 in Federal Aviation Administration funds.
Veggies going on the grill Saturday
The Madison County Farmers Market will demonstrate Saturday that fresh garden vegetables can go on the grill as well as in a salad.
The Madison County Extension Service staff, along with members of the extension homemakers clubs, will be on hand to show market customers how tasty grilled vegetables can be, said Gina Noe, extension agent for family and consumer sciences.
Stumbo says McConnell ‘handpicked’ leader of coal association
Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo said Wednesday there’s an obvious reason the president of the Kentucky Coal Association has publicly defended Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s support of the coal industry.
Berea utility doubles solar farm, again
Berea Municipal Utilities started its solar farm in October 2011 with 60 panels. In less that five days, all were leased.
Another 60, which became operational in June 2012, were leased in less than four months.
Now, the farm again has doubled, with the addition of 126 panels that are ready for leasing, said Steve Boyce, a retired Berea College professor who has been involved with the program since its inception.
My fair ladies
10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday
Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.
RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment
Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.
YMCA, county district to provide after-school care
The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.
Memories bloom in May’s garden
After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.
Water Street storm-water digging begins
Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.
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