Religious liberty focal point of prayer rally at Capitol

A religious liberty prayer rally was held on the front steps of the State Capitol in Frankfort on Tuesday, led by the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

“God has given us freedom, and our government has seen fit to defend those freedoms the Lord has given to us,” said  Todd Gray, KBC executive director-treasurer,  “but those freedoms are threatened — they are regularly threatened.  We don’t want to take those freedoms for granted, so we have come today to pray.”

Gray continued. “We must pray for those who are in authority. They have a stewardship that has been given to them by the Lord, and we must pray that they use their authority well.”

Steve Weaver, pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort, prayed for legislators and their staff. “We pray for those who serve in these buildings and we thank you for the gift of liberty, especially our religious liberty, that is higher than any government or any human power.”

Weaver quoted from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address. “‘The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.’ So we acknowledge God, that all our rights come from you.”

KBC President Wes Fowler, who also serves as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Mayfield, prayed on behalf of families and children, including Sunrise Children Services.

“Some of you may not know we were foster parents through Sunrise, and then we adopted Pierre through Sunrise. Now, I get the honor of serving on the board of Sunrise,” Fowler said. “It’s a very near and dear part of my life. It’s an honor to be here, and an honor to pray for our families and children.”

Fowler closed his eyes and said, “We pray for our children, that they would be protected from all forms of abuse. We pray for our children, that they would be loved and cherished and honored as your image-bearers.”

Dale Suttles, president of Sunrise Children’s Services, was also invited to speak and briefly addressed the contract with the state that has not yet been renewed.

“Hopefully, with the Supreme Court decision — a 9-0 profound decision — we can seek some relief. Our attorneys are meeting with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the governor’s attorneys, to come to some sort of conclusion to this problem.”

Hershael York, dean of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, also prayed on behalf of Sunrise noting, “We stand at such a pivotal moment, that our enemy has so attacked what your word says about what a family is, so that we are prevented from doing the good thing, that a world turns on us and claims that our work to save children is inherently immoral. Father, woe to them who call good evil and evil good. We pray for the strength to stand for what is right.”

Others prayed for repentance, the poor, the next generation, and for Gov. Andy Beshear and his administration.