East Spencer chaplain encourages others to keep praying during National Day of Prayer observance

Published 6:01 pm Thursday, May 4, 2017

By Shavonne Walker


EAST SPENCER — The Rev. Jason Brown issued a challenge to those gathered Thursday on the front steps of East Spencer Town Hall: Keep on praying.

Brown is chaplain of the town’s police and fire departments and a minister at Providence Baptist Church.

The church, its ministers and some congregants attended a National Day of Prayer observance along with town employees and board members, as well as police and fire personnel. Pastor Roberto Ochoa of Total Restoration also led a prayer.

The first Thursday in May is recognized as National Day of Prayer, designed for communities to come together to pray for government leaders, military personnel, first responders and law enforcement as well as for children and schools.

Brown told the biblical story of Daniel and how he was cast into the lion’s den as a penalty for praying.

“It did not stop Daniel. He did not stop and did not hide. It landed him in the lion’s den,” Brown said.

“Why would God allow an entire nation to stop one man? It’s because Daniel was a praying man.”

He encouraged everyone to stand firm and hold fast to God and prayer.

He spoke about the importance of teaching children to pray.

“We teach them so many things in life, to play ball, make money, do things around the house. We need to leave behind a legacy of prayer,” Brown said.

“Every day we pray, we depend on God, and every day we do not pray, we depend on ourselves,” Brown said.

Ochoa said a prayer of thanks for the fire and police departments and those assembled.

Total Restoration Church has been in the area for about a year and is the first predominately Hispanic church in town. Ochoa said it is a multicultural church that focuses on the community and working with youth. It is partnering with New Life Community Church on activities such as basketball and baseball tournaments.

Terry Penley, a member of Providence Baptist Church, said he’s been working in the neighborhood for 43 years. Penley said he is grateful to have retired from Salisbury-Rowan Utilities after nearly 16 years and Colortex after 28 years.

“Our lives to God is prayer and reading the word — his word,” Penley said.

The Rev. Barbara Barbour, who also led a prayer, said many people want to take prayer out of the schools, but when there is a crisis at school, a call goes out for people to pray. She said people should keep prayer in their hearts and minds.

Evangelist Dorothy Morgan and Pastor Sy Ponds also prayed during the observance. Town employee Tatiana Seward read a poem.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.