National Day of Prayer ceremony held in Hillsville

By Allen Worrell

May 1, 2014

A group of about 50 Carroll County citizens took time out of their day Thursday to join millions of Americans across the county in the National Day of Prayer.

The group joined together for about 30 minutes on the lawn in front of the Historic Carroll County Courthouse in Hillsville. A pair of hymns, “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” and “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” opened and closed the ceremony between prayers for government, military, media, family, church, education and business.

Rev. John Grimm of Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, and Treasurer of the Carroll County Ministerial Association, led the ceremony. He thought the attendance in Hillsville was great for The National Day of Prayer, which was designated in 1988.

“My understanding is this was one of the first times, or it has been a long time, since there was anything like this in Carroll County, so for 50 folks to be here, hallelujah, that is great,” Grimm said, adding that the Carroll County Ministerial Association is stepping up its presence locally. “I think we will make this an annual event. We have heard that the Carroll County Ministerial Association wasn’t doing enough in the county, so we were like, ‘Okay, we can pray, we know how to do that.’ And then in a couple of weeks the baccalaureate service, we are helping out with that. I am glad we can get together and pray for our country and our county and I really appreciate Gary Larrowe letting us use this facility with no fee, no permit. It has been good.”

Many expressed gratitude that people of several different denominations were in attendance at the Carroll County event. Rev. Michael Shockley of First Baptist Church of Hillsville led the opening hymn, “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” Pastor Jeff Pickett of Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church then prayed for government.

“It’s good we could come together today, that we could lift up our country and our nation. This is something we need to do daily as well in our life,” Pickett said prior to his prayer. “I have been asked to pray over our government, the Town of Hillsville, the Carroll County Board of Supervisors, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the United States of America. And if the United States has ever needed prayer, it’s now. We need to stand as Christians praying together, believing that God is going to see us through in his plan.”

Maria Grimm of Island Creek, Mountain Plains and Fancy Gap United Methodist Churches of the Blue Ridge Circuit, then prayed for the nation’s military. John Grimm then prayed for the media, followed by Amanda Moore of Hillsville Christian Church, who prayed for family, including grandparents raising grandkids, broken homes and abusive homes. John Grimm also prayed for church and businesses, while Donna Godwin offered a prayer for education.

The ceremony concluded with the closing hymn, “Amazing Grace,” led by John Grimm and Michael Shockley.