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NE Ark. churches gather for ‘Pray the County’

“Pray the County” was held Jan. 11. Church members in attendance were (from left) Mike Welch, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Blytheville; W.C. Inman, Johnnie Taylor and John R. Taylor, members of Clear Lake Baptist, Blytheville; Carolyn Hudson, member of Luxora Baptist Church, Blytheville; Margaret Bailey and Steve Bailey, director of missions with Mississippi County Baptist Association; John Fulper, pastor of Armorel Baptist Church, Blytheville, and Jackie Wood, pastor of Luxora Baptist Church, Blytheville. Front row from left: Robert Duhon, pastor of Clear Lake Baptist; Sandi Duhon of Clear Lake Baptist, and Jo Ann Cardin of First Baptist Church, Leachville.

Lynn Kutter
Arkansas Baptist News

BLYTHEVILLE – Members of the Mississippi County Baptist Association recently spent a Saturday traveling from church to church to pray for each other’s church needs and a revival in the Body of Christ.

This was the fourth year the association sponsored “Pray the County,” and participants gathered early on Jan. 11 at Trinity Baptist Church in Blytheville for breakfast and the first prayer vigil. The schedule called for the group to stop and pray at a different church each hour. By the end of the day, the association members had prayed at 10 different churches.

Mike Welch, who pastors Trinity Baptist, said the association sponsored a prayer journey the first year as part of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Across Arkansas evangelism strategy to reach each county in the state. Since then, the association’s Christian growth team has organized an annual “Pray the County” event.

In past years, from 30 to 50 people participated throughout the day. The number of people was down this year, but overall, “It was a great day,” said Welch.

“It was a sweet spirit all day. There was a powerful sense of the presence of the Lord,” he said.

Some of the group rode together on a bus from church to church. Others followed in their own vehicles, and still others showed up to pray at their own churches.

The large group opened up with a general assembly in the sanctuary at each church and then everyone divided into small groups to pray throughout the church building. The day included times of singing, worship and Scripture reading.

“At each church, we prayed for the pastor and his family,” Welch said. “We prayed for various ministries, mission projects, personal and corporate spiritual renewal among the congregations, prayed for more laborers in the harvest, prayed for each church to impact their community, prayed for our association, prayed for the county, prayed for our state and nation.”

Steven Bailey, association missionary for the Mississippi County Baptist Association, said this is the first time he has participated in something like “Pray the County.” Bailey has been with the association for less than two months, and he and his wife rode the bus to pray at all 10 churches.

“We thought it was a great experience,” said Bailey. “All the churches were very receptive to us coming around to pray.”

Welch has participated all four years and looks forward to praying at the churches in the county.

“It’s always exciting. It is a long day, but it is always a powerful day, powerful spiritually,” he said.

This year, the group started at Trinity Baptist and then traveled to Armorel Baptist for the second stop. Other churches on the prayer journey were Clear Lake Baptist, Blytheville; First Baptist Church, Blytheville; First Baptist Church, Osceola; Wardell Baptist Church, Wardell; Blackwater Baptist Church, Manila; First Baptist Church, Leachville, and Bethany Baptist Church, Manila. The day closed at Gosnell Baptist Church, Blytheville, with prayer and a meal.

Lynn Kutter is the at-large correspondent for the Arkansas Baptist News.

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