Pastors, Christian leaders, and Tooele City’s mayor gathered at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Tooele City on May 5 to honor the National Day of Prayer.
From noon to 1 p.m., those in attendance began a short service with a welcome message from Pastor Mark Runyon from New Life Christian Fellowship, followed by a message from Tooele City Mayor, Debbie Winn.
“We do this every year. It’s wonderful. We should do this more often,” Winn said. “What I want to share with you today is something that we should never forget. We live in a free country where we are given an opportunity to worship how we feel and to be able to pray and praise our God for the things that He does for us.”
During the event, seven local pastors and Christian leaders spoke about topics that were assigned to pastors and leaders throughout the country.
Pastor Trevor Rickard, from New Life Christian Fellowship prayed for family. Pastor Josh Parker, from Tooele Springs Calvary Chapel prayed for churches. Bill Upton, Tooele City Police Department’s chaplain, prayed about education. Pastor Jon McCartney, from Tooele First Baptist Church, prayed for the government.
Chris Begnaud, interim chaplain from Dugway, prayed for the military. Pastor Phil Wiebe from Lakeview Church, prayed for the arts, entertainment, and media. Pastor Forrest White, from Life Church, prayed for businesses.
At the end of the service those in attendance sang another song and Runyon gave a closing message.
Each year, the National Day of Prayer is observed on the first Thursday in May.
In the early 1950’s, an evangelical Christian movement called for Congress and the President to proclaim a National Day of Prayer. The movement continued to grow and Evangelist Billy Graham led a service for approximately 20,000 individuals on the steps of the capitol building in Washington D.C on Feb. 3, 1952. Later that year, Congress proclaimed a joint resolution for a National Day of Prayer.
President Harry S. Truman later proclaimed that the day be celebrated on July 4, then President Ronald Reagan changed the date to the first Thursday in May.