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Oxford prays for peace, unity, awakening

On the National Day of Prayer, about 100 people gathered on the lawn in front of the Lafayette County Courthouse and prayed.

They prayed for peace, awakening and unity.

Organized by Janet Davis and Sara Pugh with First Baptist Church, the event began at 12:15 p.m. with the Oxford High School Marine Corp Junior ROTC presenting the colors. The Rev. Don Gann led the Pledge of Allegiance, and second-grade students from Regents School performed the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Several speakers led the group in prayer, each focusing on a different group of people.

Dr. Clay Anthony, director of Collaborative Missionary Network, prayed for local, state and national governmental leaders.

“We lift up these men and woman that they would turn to you as they make decisions that affect our lives and future,” he prayed. “We plea for guidance for those of us who vote that we will vote for people who follow you and you only.”

The Rev. Billy Owen, the pastor of St. Andrews Methodist Church, offered prayers for families.

“We pray for families who need your help, and we especially pray for those who feel they need your help the least,” he said.

He prayed for the unemployed and for those who work so much they have no time left to spend with family and he prayed for those families dealing with stress due to financial problems and facing addiction issues.

Lafayette County School Superintendent Adam Pugh prayed for the safety of all school children and teachers.

“Keep evil people away from our schools,” he said. “Let our children know they are safe within our walls.”

Cadet Gunnery Sgt. Carter Hillmer with the OHS Marine Corp Junior ROTC prayed for the country’s military; the Rev. Scott Crenshaw, pastor of the Church of Nazarene, offered prayers for churches and the Rev. Dedrick Benson, senior pastor of the University of Life Church, prayed for spiritual awakening.

“Help us be a better friend, a better brother, a better sister, mother father,” Benson said. “Touch our hearts and minds and every part of our lives so that we can be better for you.”

As the prayers ended, 50 red, white and blue balloons were released as the group gathered on the courthouse lawn joined in singing “God Bless America.”