A crowd of residents, town officials and the Benson Middle School Chorus united Thursday morning during the third annual Benson Mayor’s National Day of Prayer Breakfast at the Benson Baptist Church.
Mayor William Massengill introduced Pastor Paul Burgess and his young child, Parrish, to lead the invocation.
It was followed by songs from the Benson Middle School Chorus as a prelude to keynote speaker Dr. C. Lynn Brinkley from the Campbell University Divinity School.
Dr. Brinkley told attendees the time for seeking guidance has come as the town, state and country face difficult challenges.
“We should pray and we should pray about peace,” she said. “I don’t know about you, but my heart is grieving about all I see happening in the world today.”
“We should be grieving all the hateful rhetoric that’s taking place, all of the threats against our law enforcement and no one seems to be bothered by police shootings anymore,” she said. “It is so hurtful and so sad and such a disheartening commentary to know that in 2017 a high school student in Apex cannot find it unjust or immoral to take pictures of his classmates and to call them slaves and to call himself their plantation owner, he needs to pray.”
Benson Area Chamber of Commerce Administrative Assistant Evelyn Aranda offered the closing prayer.
A group gathered in Four Oaks gathered at noon Thursday at Barbour’s Grove Park to celebrate the National Day of Prayer.
Anita Stephenson explained this year’s service was breaking from the tradition of a keynote speaker. Instead, the crowd was led in prayers over different groups in attendance.
After making opening remarks, Mayor Linwood Parker read the national proclamation naming May 4th the National Day of Prayer ahead of the Pledge of Allegiance Ms. Stephenson led.
Then the National Prayer for 2017 was read by all in attendance before local pastors took to the microphone.
God was asked to offer his hand and guidance over local churches and the pastors, Four Oaks emergency services personnel, schools and educators, military and veterans, government leaders, local businesses and youth and media.
Then Rev. Steve Morris from Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church called all in attendance to join him and the other pastors who had offered prayers on the gazebo that fills the park’s center.
At that point he told attendees the ceremony wasn’t just about the pastors.
“It’s for everyone,” he said. “So, let’s join hands together and say the ‘Lord’s Prayer.’” Story and photos courtesy The Daily Record