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Atmore observes National Day of Prayer today at Tom Byrne

City leaders pray in front of Atmore City Hall during last year's National Day of Prayer event.

The City of Atmore is celebrating the National Day of Prayer today.

According to Sandra Johnson, who is on the committee for the events, the day will be recognized at Tom Byrne Park with three events. The committee has made a effort to space their programs throughout the day so those wishing to come will have several opportunities.

  • Morning – 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. – Walk the track and pray with a pastor if you’d like. Pastor Hattie Bishop and the Rev. Ted Bridges will be available if anyone would like to pray with them. Committee member Sandra Johnson will also be on hand.
  • Noon – Prayer Service – A program will be provided so those in attendance may join in a Prayer for Our Nation. In addition, designated prayers will include government, military, media, education, business, church and families.
  • Evening – 6 p.m. – This will be a first for Atmore. The committee plans to have the Bible read in its entirety in 30 minutes. Readers will be posted on the inside of the walking trail, facing the trail. Each reader will be assigned a portion of the Bible and everyone will read his/her portion at the same time.

Local homeschooled students decorated the walking path in the park, according to Sharon Keesler, who is in charge of the days events.

“The students will list our nation’s officials from the president on down through state, county and city officials. The will be using washable chalk on the walking path,” Keesler said Tuesday. “There will be an official prayer service at noon along with music. Those in attendance will be able to join in together and pray for our leaders, the military and even down through the communities and also for other specific prayers.

“We will have 186 people stationed around the walking path who will be reading part of the Bible,” Keesler added. “This is my second year of working in Atmore, but I worked with the group in Fort Wayne, Ind. for several years and this is one of the events we used there. I know it can be done. With 186 people reading their section of the Bible, they can read through it in 30 minutes. It doesn’t seem possible but the Bible can be read in this amount of time. We have some committed people who have volunteered to do the readings.”

Johnson said the National Day of Prayer has been growing from the time of its inception.

“The National Day of Prayer is a day of prayer set aside for people of all faiths to pray for the nation and our leaders,” Johnson said.

Almost 58 years ago, on April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer. In the intervening years, the law has been amended so that it would be held on the first Thursday of the month of May.

“It exists to mobilize the Christian community to intercede with God for America’s leaders and families,” Johnson said. “It’s based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.”