Lumberton joins in nationwide prayer

May 6—LUMBERTON — The Lumberton community, churches, government and the nation as a whole were all topics of intercession during a prayer service held Thursday at the Lumberton Downtown Plaza in observance of the National Day of Prayer.

The United States Congress, by Public Law 100-307, calls on the president to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a "National Day of Prayer." The day is meant to serve as a time for the country to come together and offer prayer and meditation in tandem.

The prayer event has not been held in Lumberton for the past two years due to COVID-19. Lumberton Mayor Bruce Davis said that it's "just wonderful" to be able to bring back the event.

"Everybody needs prayer. You can't live and believe you don't need the Lord in your life," Davis said.

During the Lumberton event attended by about 75 people including city leaders, first responders, clergymen and community members, all gathered and began the ceremony listening to a rendition of "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes by fireman Tobias Epps. Also during the program, the First Presbyterian Church Weekday School sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," Rev. Tim Little sang the National Anthem and Sandy Grove Baptist Church Pastor Kelvin Barnes led the audience in singing "God Bless America."

But, most importantly, the crowd gathered in unison to pray.

First Baptist Church Senior Pastor Josh Owens led the official 2022 National Prayer for America written by National Day of Prayer Task Force President Kathy Branzell.

"I think the power of these words is that just as we're doing here today, all across the nation hundreds of thousands of communities and cities just like ours, these same words are being offered up collectively showing the unity and passion that we have with each other," Rev. Owens said.


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Several other dignitaries led prayers for different entities. Chestnut Street United Methodist Church Pastor Herbert Lowry prayed for government, First Presbyterian Church Director of Children's and Youth Ministry Heather led the prayer for families and children, Sen. Danny Britt led the prayer for the businesses, UNC Health Southeastern Rev. Dean Carter led in prayer for churches and Lumberton Police Department Master Patrolman Brian Sampson led a prayer for the community.

"We see in scripture that Moses was a government leader, Deborah was a judge, Paul was a tentmaker, Mary and Martha were homemakers. Each of these heroes of the faith boldly followed the call of you Lord even in their different positions," Sen. Britt said during his prayer.

Officer Sampson referred back to the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan. The story tells of a traveler who is robbed and beaten and left for dead. A Jewish priest and a Levite come upon the man and avoid him, but it is a good Samaritan who finally stops to offer assistance.

"I thought about how does that even relate to us," Sampson said. "That's just like me and you today. We should always treat one another the way the Bible says. The Bible says you should "love one another as we love ourselves.' 'Do unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves.'"

"That's just the way he wants you and I to treat one another no matter what end of the spectrum we're living on," Sampson continued.

The Day of Prayer event was organized by the Lumberton Recreation Department. Special Events Coordinator Courtney Rogerson said she was happy with the turnout.

"Prayer is important for everyone. Everyone that I called was so committed and so excited to see it return that they all obliged and came to pray for our community and so it's a super important service to have yearly," Rogerson said.

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at or 910-416-5865.