August 5, 2010
Community unites for schools
A new school year is here, and about 70 individuals came together Saturday to pray for children, parents, teachers and administrators.
The first “Bridging Our Community and Schools Through Prayer” event was held at Spring Hollow Park in Holly Springs.
Organizers included George Zinn, Dale DeBerry, Ed Moses, Jarvis Jeffries and Wayne Jones.
“Today we are here in the park to begin a journey that we hope will lead to an annual prayer service for our schools,” said Moses, pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church. “We want you to meet new people and learn each other’s concerns. It’s all about bringing our community together.”
Zinn, a member of the Marshall County Board of Supervisors, said most schools, public and private, were represented.
“In my opinion, it’s a good start,” he said.
“The good Lord has an answer to all of our concerns.”
Robert Pearson, chief of the Holly Springs Police Department, said his hope is for an excellent academic year.
“I hope students recognize the opportunities ahead of them,” he said.
He referred to the second chapter of Acts. Verse 42 mentions “continuing steadfastly in prayers” and Verse 46 “continuing daily with one accord.”
Pearson said, “It is my desire this will happen in our schools.”
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry welcomed everyone to the park.
“Our children are our future, and our children are also our now,” he said. “My hope is for a productive school year and that God will smile on our students.”
Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas said if ever there was a time when prayer was needed – it is now.
“I’ve seen youth court triple the last six and a half years,” he said.
“We must give our kids a Christian background and show them the power of prayer.”
Emmily Hurdle, school nurse for Marshall County, inspired the crowd with a spiritual song – “I Go To War On My Knees.”
Banker Charles King applauded the organizers of the event, and then focused on the positive.
“Every person here can make a difference – in your school and in your community,” he said. “We can all make Marshall County a better place.”
King said his prayer for the schools included Joshua 24:15 – “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Jerry Moore, assistant superintendent of the Marshall County School District, said it was obvious by the many people gathered for the event that “God is in our schools.”
“You can’t run God out of schools if you have godly people in our schools,” Moore said.
Jane Hubbard, headmaster at Marshall Academy, talked about the “wonderful opportunity” for all schools to work together.
“Our children need to see God in us – administrators and teachers,” Hubbard said.
All school administrators and elected officials in attendance addressed the crowd – focusing on prayer and working together as a community to do what’s best for the children.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation, a town, and I believe – our schools,” said Pat Kennedy, principal of Mary Reid School in Potts Camp.
To close the event, the group came together at the bridge in the park to pray. Prayers were led by Todd Sanderson, minister of the Holly Springs Church of Christ, and Milton Whatley, pastor of Holly Springs United Methodist Church.
Back-to-school activities continued Saturday with “Hands Around the Park,” which provided a venue for school uniform swaps. It was held in the park at the corner of West College and West Boundary in Holly Springs and also included prayer. Organizer of this event was Michael Douglas Anderson.
Also, this Saturday, Aug. 7, Mayor DeBerry invites youth and adults to come “Bike and Hike for Health.”
Mississippi ranks number one in the nation for childhood obesity. In January, the mayor launched a walking campaign called “ALOAD” – At Least One Mile A Day” of walking by residents of Holly Springs.
As a follow-up to that program, he asks everyone to join him from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday on Maury Street at the primary school as “we take a giant step to improve the health of our community and especially our children.”
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