OKEECHOBEE – About 100 members of the Okeechobee community gathered on the grounds between the Historic Okeechobee County Courthouse and the Judicial Center on May 5 for the National Day of Prayer observation.
The Okeechobee Ministerial Association (OMA) organized the event.
OMA President Jim Dawson, associate pastor of First United Methodist Church gave the welcome and opening prayer, and spoke about the history of the National Day of Prayer.
Sheriff Noel Stephen announced the Color Guard and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Okeechobee High School JROTC posted the colors, under the direction of Valparisia Gibson, Sergeant 1st Class, U.S. Army (Ret). The Color Guard included Cadet LTC Patricia Dunn, Cadet CSM Lezlie Detzer, Cadet Corp Felipe Garcia and Cadet SSGT Alexis Hernandez.
Okeechobee City Councilman Bob Jarriel led the prayers for supreme, federal, state and local courts, judges and attorneys.
Superintendent of Schools Ken Kenworthy led the prayers for colleges and universities, school systems, school boards, students, administrators, teachers, aides, parents and volunteers.
Chad Keathley, pastor of Okeechobee Church of God led the prayers for federal, state and local law enforcement and racial harmony.
Warren Kelly, pastor of Okeechobee Worship Center led the prayers for national, state and local economy and businesses.
Emmaline Harris, Pastor of Joseph Outreach, led the prayers for world health and to end addiction, homelessnesses and joblessness.
Loy Mershimer, pastor of Okeechobee Presbyterian Church, led the prayers for national protection, world leaders and peace for Ukraine and Israel.
Don Hanna, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church, led the prayers for military, veterans, POWs, MIAs, those with PTSD and military families.
Okeechobee County Commissioner David Hazellief led the prayers for firefighters, EMTs, hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and medical personnel.
Greg Durozel and Sandy Perry played the Lord’s Prayer on violin and piano.
Mark Mayers, executive director of Real Life Children’s Ranch, led the prayers for the victims of domestic violence, foster children, foster homes, orphans, orphanages, teens, the family unit, pregnancies and prospective parents.
Douglas Ryan, pastor of More2Life Ministries, led the prayers for ministries, missions and the media.
OMA Vice Present Cary McKee, senior pastor of More2Life Ministries, led the prayers for salvation, repentance and revival.
The program ended with Mershimer leading the crowd in singing “God Bless America.”