-

The Thomas Family Boots On The Ground Outreach Ministry and Emporia-Greensville citizens gather in prayer at Veterans Park.

Thomas Family Boots On The Ground Outreach Ministry’s noon Wednesday Community Prayer crossed denominational and racial lines as citizens and religious leaders joined as one body in prayer under the pavilion at Veterans Park.

“Today was a day of coming together a week before Jesus’ crucifixion,” Pastor Elder Javan Thomas said. “It was a time to come together and pray to build up and not tear down. It was a time to surrender and not to take the lead, but to allow God to come through his Holy Spirit and guide and direct. Today was the beginning of building the Church how it is supposed to be.”

Chaplain Michael Vosburg, of Deerfield Correctional Center, opened the worship service thanking all who came to join in prayer. He was followed by Pastor Rosa Kelly, of Pleasant Hill, N.C., who gave a testimony about the many times she had been in poor health, but God had seen her through difficult times.

She said when she was born she was not expected to live through the day. Her mother prayed for her. Kelly said Jesus visited her bed and the next morning there was nothing wrong with her. In the 1970s she had severe blood clots. In the 1980s she was in a car accident and temporarily paralyzed. In the 1990s she had a heart attack and stomach cancer. Blindness, strokes and two bouts of breast cancer would inflict Kelly. She does not know why these trials were put before her, but she said it was all part of God’s plan and he was with her throughout.

Another man gave his testimony of battling alcohol and drug addiction. He is now clean, but said those trials molded him into the man he is today and helps him in his effort to reach others to bring them closer to God.

Pearline Small wanted to share her prayer through song and her rendition of “Because of Who You Are” was followed as others joined her in song. When Small was finished singing, she looked at the crowd and smiled.

“I’m 71 years old,” she said. “I always lived to see the day when black and white was brought together. This is a great thing.”

Shirley Rodgers led one of the prayers for the body of believers under the pavilion. Prayer is important to Rodgers and was the reason she decided to attend Wednesday’s event.

“I believe in prayer,” she said. “This was an awesome time today and hell is trembling now.”

Pastor Elder Linda Thomas was pleased with the result of Wednesday’s community prayer.

“God told us to call the people together and pray,” she said. “There was no money involved, not anything but coming together to pray. This is the holiest time for the Church, and we’re the most separated. Just come together and pray and we did. We as a Church have to put feet to our faith. You can talk, but you have to show love in deeds and demonstration of love.”

Thomas Family Boots on the Ground was founded five years ago with a mission of an outreach ministry of action and Wednesday’s outreach action brought together many in prayer from all walks of life.