About 170 rally for day of prayer

Thursday, May 1, 2008 | 2:43 p.m. CDT; updated 12:28 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

About 170 people gathered outside the Boone County Courthouse in downtown Columbia over the lunch hour to pray and worship at a rally for the annual National Day of Prayer.

National recording artist Caleb Rowden led worship from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Several pastors and community leaders then led those assembled in prayers for the community and the nation. Prayers were offered for medical science, education, troops, public servants and elected officials.

“The foundations of our nation are on religious freedom,” said physician Tracy Stroud, who attended with four of her six children, one of whom helped lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Debbie Hemmer is new to Columbia, and she welcomed the chance to join the others gathered to pray.

“I’m grateful to have this opportunity to put God before my job, to praise and worship, and pray for our leaders and our country and our men and women in the armed services,” Hemmer said. “We have so much to be thankful for, and I’m proud to be an American and I’m proud to be a child of God.”

For a longer story on the rally, come back to later today or see the Missourian’s Friday print edition.

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