Taking time to pray in Niles

Published 1:25 pm Friday, May 7, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A large group of people gathered on the front lawn of Niles City Hall on Thursday to provide their spiritual support for our nation in a time of need.
To celebrate National Prayer Day, nearly 100 people came together for a group prayer session to express the desire for peace and unity across the nation and the rest of the world.
The Rev. Harry Pierson, pastor of Franklin AME Church, led Thursday's afternoon service and said National Prayer Day is a time that brings the community together and makes us stronger as a nation.
Pierson began the event by leading the community in the "Prayer for the Nation" written by Dr. Barry Black, chaplain to the United States Senate.
The large group then split up into smaller prayer circles to voice their individual prayers.
Pierson, who tied several helium balloons to the fence in front of city hall, released the balloons as the prayer circles were taking place.
Berrien Springs resident Virginia Harrison, a member of the Evangelical Free Church in Niles, came out to show her support for our country.
Her husband, Jim Harrison, was pleased with the fact that so many people showed up to pray for the good of the nation.
The gathering was also well attended by local youth.
Niles resident Justin Martin, 16, was glad to see the amount of young people that turned out to pray.
Martin, who is home schooled, thinks praying on individual basis is important, but was happy to see that there was an event like National Prayer Day that brings everyone together for a common purpose.
Niles resident Margo Miller, who brought her five children to the gathering, said an event like this can help to reinforce strong values in our youth.
Pierson, who has been leading National Prayer Day services for several years now, said this year's turnout was great and was encouraged to see the number of youth participating.