Community leaders gather for prayer service

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

People don’t always envision Saturday mornings as a typical time for church service.

On Saturday in Winchester, there was an exception to the rule.

Dozens of representatives from around the community attended the 10:00 a.m. Community Prayer Service hosted by Central Baptist Church which is located off West Lexington Avenue.

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“I’m thankful to live in a city [and] in a county where this sort of thing happens,” said Scott Ogle, the senior pastor at Central Baptist Church. “This is a rare thing, and it’s a privilege to gather together with people from all over our city to seek the Lord’s face.”

The service was started by former Mayor Ed Burtner and Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham – both present – during their time in office together.

Perhaps appropriately, following the opening hymn “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship,” current Mayor JoEllen Reed and Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates were the first to speak.

Both showed appreciation, with Mayor Reed stating that a personal favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 due to it showing God is in control.

Former Mayor Ed Burtner then gave the invocation.

Afterward, the many groups of individuals and workers to be prayed for within the community started with schools, students, teachers, staff, administrators, and parents.

Dustin Howard, Superintendent of Clark County Public Schools, spoke of the power of wisdom.

“When I stand before you representing the schools, students, teachers, administrators, [and] parents, I’m praying for wisdom as a community wrapped around one another to ensure future generations are successful,” he said. “The measure of greatness is not a one-time event.”

Howard was followed by Tamara Rehnborg of Crossroads Church, who prayed for elected and appointed officials and city government.

Senior Minister of First Christian Church Dr. Jerry Johns then prayed for volunteers, churches, nonprofits, and help groups.

Janet Townsend, Clark County Human Resources Administrator, prayed for the courts, jail staff, fire personnel, EMS, law enforcement, and first responders.

The Honorable David Ward, current Circuit Court Judge of the 25th Judicial District – 1st Division and former U.S. Army Colonel, prayed for military members on active duty, retired veterans, and reservists.

“I had the honor of being able to serve for several decades in the United States military. I’m honored to be here with you today”, said Ward, whose prayer also mentioned the families of those in service.

For those in distress, Mary Davis of First United Methodist Church prayed.

“Lord, we ask for your help as only you can for those in distress in our community, and we ask that you help each one of us to be listening for your voice to instruct them,” she said.

Clark County Public Health Director Becky Kissick prayed for those in the healthcare industry – including hospitals, doctors, nurses, and health department staff.

Prior to Pastor Ogle’s benediction, the last speaker was City Manager Mike Flynn.

“I take great pride in serving our community for over 30 years now, but most of all, I take great pride in being a servant to the Lord, Jesus Christ”, he said. “We as a community have things that we can do…we can give to others in order [for] them to grow.”

In addition to the aforementioned, present were Clark County Magistrates Robert Blanton and Mark Miller, City Commissioner Kitty Strode, Clark County PVA Jada Brady, and many others looking to serve Winchester.