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Lee chairs National Day of Prayer event for fourth year

What began as a small town event to bring together the community for prayer has evolved into one of the premier events in Halifax County.

The Rev. Russell Lee has served as program chairman for the Halifax County/South Boston National Day of Prayer for four years. After receiving a call from prayer day chairman Larry McPeters, Lee said he thought and prayed about becoming program chairman and essentially decided to take the position.

“We wanted to reach out in a different way to more people and to encourage them to pray for the nation’s needs, which needs a lot of prayer at this point,” said Lee.

For a number of years, the prayer day event was held at The Prizery for breakfast featuring local speakers.

“We had about 200 people attend then,” said Lee.

The event continued to grow, and the committee decided that more people would be able to attend if the event was held later in the evening. The event then was moved from The Prizery to the National Guard Armory, and it attracted over 300 people.

“We felt that if we did the same thing the next year, we would have to find somewhere bigger,” said Lee.

So the committee did. The event was moved to its final destination, the Halifax County High School Auditorium. 

According to Lee, the event this year will be held May 2 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The auditorium can seat a maximum of 1,500 people, and he hopes to exceed that this year. 

This year’s theme is “Pray for America,” and Lee said, “That’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

“Along the way we decided to have local people involved and give their testimony and pray for the nation,” said Lee.

Even though some things are still being finalized, the event is expected to have two local residents offer their testimonies and several others lead in prayer. 

This year will feature entertainment from the Grammy winning singer/songwriter Linda Davis. Davis is an inspirational motivator, wife and mother. Davis’ latest CD, “I Have Arrived,” placed #5 on Christian Country charts. 

The younger generation will recognize her as the mother of Hillary Scott of the super group “Lady Antebellum.”

“She has toured with Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, George Strait and Garth Brooks,” said Lee.

When it was first mentioned to bring Linda Davis, Lee said, I remember saying, “We don’t have a chance of getting her to come here, but we’ll try anyway.”

However to his surprise, Davis accepted the offer and is looking forward to the event.

Lee said even though the small town of South Boston has limited resources and not a lot of resources in entertainment, they have been fortunate to know people with connections. 

In the past, the event has had Jimmy Fortune, Joey and Rory and Lulu Roman.

The planning committee starts planning for the event the first of each year, and Lee said it usually takes roughly six to eight months to plan the entire event. 

Not only will the program feature award winning entertainment, but local citizens will share their testimonies and lead in prayer too. 

A Duck Dynasty video presentation will be shown as well as a video presentation of America’s terrain, while the song “America the Beautiful” plays in the background.

There will be prayers held in the lobby based on the seven centers of prayer, which together address all the components of the nation. The seven centers of prayer include family, military, media, business, church, education and government.

“Prayer is the most powerful force there is…talking to God, giving thanks and speaking to God and listening to God. We’re hoping to encourage individuals to listen to what God has in store and follow in the direction of God as a nation,” said Lee.

The committee comprised of nearly 20 people in charge of program, publicity, security, fundraising, decorations and refreshments.

“We don’t won’t anyone to miss this wonderful experience, and we hope that the end result is a better nation…with respect, safer and more faithful. We encourage people to pray every day,” said Lee.

Those wishing to contribute to the Halifax County/South Boston National Day of Prayer are encouraged to make checks payable to Halifax County Prayer Day and mail to P.O. Box 885, Halifax, VA 24558.