Hundreds gather for annual prayer event

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Jane Torrie raises her arms in praise as the Rev. Bruce Troy of Southmont Baptist Church says a prayer Thursday for the U.S. armed forces and veterans during the National Day of Prayer on the lawn of the Courthouse on the Square in Denton.
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Hundreds gathered on the Courthouse on the Square lawn to pray for government leaders, the military, the media, businesses, educators, churches and families Thursday for the 61st annual National Day of Prayer.

“I’m so excited to be a part of what God is doing in Denton and Denton County,” said Dorothy Smith, an event coordinator.

The theme of this year’s event was from Psalm 33: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”

The event is a way to bring the Christian community together, Smith said.

“It’s growing every year,” she said. “We’ve had more pastors come on board each year.”

An estimated 450 people gathered as the Robby Wright Family kicked off the event with music.

The Rev. Jim Mann with New Life Church was the sponsoring pastor who gave the opening and closing prayer.

Denton firefighters put up the “arch of honor,” formed by two fire truck ladders with an American flag hung from the top, for the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 920 to walk under during the presentation of colors. Veteran Bob Gutierrez sang the national anthem.

Mayor Pro Tem Pete Kamp read a proclamation to declare Thursday the official day of prayer for Denton.

Pastors from 15 area churches prayed for the city and the nation.

Attendees enjoyed hearing from all the different pastors.

“God heard the cries of his people today,” said Linda Roberts.

She called it an “incredible experience.”

“I think it’s a good refresher for everyone,” attendee Ray Roberts said.

Marvin and Billie Crabb said the event was an opportunity to be witnesses to the community.

“We care for our country and what we stand for,” Billie Crab said.

Many attendees waved American flags as the Robby Wright Family sang “God Bless the USA” to bring the event to a close.

“We’re thankful to have the freedom to do this,” Jane Peak said.

RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is .


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