More than 200 people attended this year’s National Day of Prayer event in Kerrville on May 1, led by Dennis Ferguson, director of BCFS Health & Human Services, Kerrville’s Community Services Division
Ferguson told the crowd that organization held their first National Day of Prayer “Prayer Breakfast” in 1944 in San Antonio, and the annual event is now in 48 U.S. states and also is held globally.
In Kerrville, the first event was held here in 2007, he said.
The program for the morning said the National Day of Prayer was created by law in 1952 by President Harry Truman as an inspiring way to bring people of all faiths together to pray and mobilize with a common focus.
This year the 7 a.m. breakfast with speakers was held on May 1 in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church; and the theme was “bringing the community together for fellowship and prayer.”
Ferguson urged everyone to “do what’s right, at the right time and for and with the right people.”
He read a supporting letter from U.S. Senator John Cornyn; and introduced several of the attendees by their offices and job connections.
After the presentation of the Colors by the Tivy High School Air Force ROTC and Chief Master Sergeant Brunz, and the Pledge of Allegiance, a series of speakers from the Kerrville area community came to the podium to lead prayers on specific topics.
The prayer for “our nation and our president” was given by Howell Ridout, vice president of real estate and development for James Avery Craftsman.
He prayed for the health and decision-making of the President of the United States and all citizens, speaking about unity and humility and the challenges in a divided nation. He called the President “our President Donald” and said all citizens from the top down should turn over a new leaf of mutual respect. He asked for a repentant, humble and respectful people.
The prayer for the U.S. military was given by Jeff Harris, mortgage loan officer at Community First National Bank. Harris is a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant.
Harris asked that God watch over our military every day; and to lead the leaders who direct the U.S. military every day. He asked the Almighty to help and heal all military, including those at the Kerrville VA Medical Center; and “to watch over all the young ones, too.”
The prayer for the State of Texas was led by B. K. Gamble, PMP, HR training and development manager for the H.E. Butt Foundation.
She lifted up leaders in all areas of government include lawmakers and in the judicial system, asking that they each receive grace, peace and wisdom. She asked that the Lord “order their steps in His Word.”
Dr. Bill Blackburn, mayor of the City of Kerrville gave the prayer for the city.
He said he recognizes the need for prayer as this community changes and grows, and prayed for wisdom and discernment, so this community remains a safe place. He prayed for the elderly, the disabled and the poor; and for their care of each other, good jobs and benefits.
“In the community, there are divisions, but there can be unity if all will stay strong and use discernment and kindness.”
David Payne, senior pastor of FUMC, gave the prayer for our churches and families.
Payne prayed for churches not only in this community but across this land. “We’re not perfect, but we are Your vehicle. Bring unity and the ability to look outside the walls and in every corner.”
He requested God send His Holy Spirit to bring renewal and a new passion for the churches’ mission in thus world.
Clay Barton, chief deputy of the Kerr County Sheriff’s Department, gave the prayer for first responders.
Barton asked God to be with all first responders and their families; and to grant them patience, safety and hope as they each carry out their duties.
Steve Schwarz, principal of Hill Country High School, gave the prayer for the area education systems.
Schwarz said he and other educators use prayer as their greatest weapon in education.
He prayed for all students, present and future, for their parents, for the schools as institutions, and their administrators and board members for their impact on students.
He asked that God keep everyone safe everywhere; and for the teachers and their integrity.
And Joshua Rodriguez, a resident at Our House operated by the BCFS – Kerrville, gave the prayer for all area youth.
He first thanked Ferguson for the facility and the safety and opportunities it gives to residents.
Then he prayed that God would pour out blessings on the young adults there; and said he lifted up all of them for revival, repentance and to know God.
“Open our hearts to be filled with a new spirit and Your Word,” he prayed.
The closing prayer was presented by Kevin Dinnin, president and CEO of the BCFS system.
Dinnin said about six of these prayer breakfasts were occurring that day across Texas.
“We have to question the divisiveness in our community,” he said. “We have a calling as Christians.”
He said everyone was at this program for one purpose, to pray to the Lord, and added, “It does my heart good to see this.”
He noted the increased church attendance the Sunday after the 9-11 attacks on the United States; adding, “We have to stand tall for all that lives in our hearts.”
He asked God to hear all the prayers raised that morning, and thanked Him for being beside each person to give strength.
As the program started that morning, the jazz band of George Eychner, Gary Hatch, Rick Phipps, Tim Porter, Dave Isadore and Ted Conerly presented some lively music to keep the attendees attentive to the breakfast and program.
The breakfast of steak and eggs and other items was provided by Rails.