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By Chevon T. Baccus APR
Executive Editor 

Lake Wales Faithful Observe National Day of Prayer


Last updated 5/8/2019 at 11:20am

Chevon Baccus

Rev. Steve Greshel of Christ's Church on the Move led prayer for city officials, including police chief, fire chief and city attorney

Lake Wales area people of faith gathered at noon Thursday at the City Administration Building for the National Day of Prayer.

Many prayers were lifted calling upon God to have mercy on America and "heal our land."

John Motis, co-director of the Business, Civic and Ministry Coalition of Lake Wales, welcomed the 100-plus attendees and put the day in historical context: President Harry Truman in 1952 called for a National Day of Prayer and President Ronald Reagan made the first Thursday in May the official date for the annual observance. This year's theme was "Love One Another," relying on the John 14:34 Biblical passage and directive from Jesus Christ: "Love one another. Just as I have loved you."

The Lake Wales High School Color guard marched in and presented the flag for the pledge of allegiance, followed by the group singing "America." Charles Anderson and Friends from High Point Church led the group in praise and worship music.

The program included prayers for city leaders led by Steve Greshel, pastor of Christ's Church on the Move; for county leaders, led by German Portillo, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Nuevo Amencer; for state leaders, led by the Rev. J.J. Pierce of First Institutional Missionary Baptist Church; and for national leaders, led by Steve Livingstone, pastor of New Harvest Worship Center. Representatives of the different groups came forward and were encircled by all the attending pastors placing hands on them for prayer. The Rev. Wilfredo Perez of Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal MI offered the closing prayer.

The Rev. Walter Nelson from IMPACT Church provided the main message, reminding the group that there were many denominations but only one church in Lake Wales, the people who collectively make up "the body of Christ."

Nelson talked about the importance of Lake Wales believers coming together to share the love and message of Jesus Christ. He said volunteers from various churches recently completed distribution of the "Story of Jesus" on DVD and other materials placed on more than 13,000 doors in the Lake Wales area.

Chevon Baccus

Lake Wales High School Color Guard

The Rev. Scott Markley of First Baptist Church of Lake Wales passed out programs with National Day of Prayer guidelines for continuing prayers "for America to love one another" after the one-day event. The materials called for people to: 1) Pray for America to love one another; 2) Pray for the Church in America to love one another; 3) Pray for families, workplaces, communities, and cities in America to love one another; 4) Pray for all ethnicities and people in America to love one another; and 5) Pray we will love God and each other so much that we will agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily for the next great spiritual awakening in America.

The program also identified five major areas that need prayer to love one another – government, military, media arts, business and education.

For more information, visit the National Day of Prayer website at

Author Bio

Chevon T. Baccus APR, Contributing Writer

After working as a newspaper reporter and editor for eight years, Chevon moved on to a long career in public relations, marketing and business development. After 2 1/2 years as founding publisher of she's happy to still be an occasional contributor.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 8636511065


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