The clouds were building as the Rev. William A. Boykin stepped to the microphone to begin the National Day of Prayer Service in Havelock Thursday evening.
“I know you’re looking up for two things. One thing is to give thanks to God,” he said. “The second thing is you’re wondering whether He’s going to let it rain on us or not.”
The rain held off until the end of the hour-long service when Boykin, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Havelock, gave his benediction.
“It was wonderful,” Ralph Gwyther, a longtime Havelock resident, said of the service. “I was very happy the rain held off.”
About 70 people attended the service held outdoors at Havelock City Park. Lynn Bullock, of Cherry Point Baptist Church, provided music for attendees, who opened the service by singing “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” and ended it with “To God Be the Glory.”
Havelock Mayor Will Lewis read a proclamation, and various pastors from churches associated with the Havelock-Cherry Point Ministerial Association offered special prayers for the nation, state, city, churches, families, military, police and firefighters.
“It’s a privilege to be able to pray anytime for our city, our state and our nation,” the Rev. Kenny McCoy of Lighthouse Assembly of God said.
The Rev. Tom Roberts, of Liberty Christian Church, offered prayers for Havelock and its city leaders.
“We wish for prosperity on this city,” he said. “We wish that You grant us favor that this city will grow and this city will prosper and this city will be something that others come to see.”
Before his prayer, Roberts said that he had served as pastor of Liberty Christian for more than 25 years.
“I think there’s been a slogan curse that has been spoken over Havelock,” he said. “People have said ‘Havenot, North Carolina.’ But since I have the podium, and we’re sitting here at City Park, I break that curse in the name of Jesus Christ and say that it’s not Havenot, North Carolina but Have-a-lot, North Carolina. This is a wonderful town, a wonderful town, so I am honored to be praying for the city.”
The Rev. Travis Crocker did not introduce himself to the crowd as he took the stage.
“I don’t really care if you know my name,” he said. “What I’m more interested in is that you know who my God is. I serve an awesome God. I’m nobody. I’m nothing. I’m dirt. But, God gives me the opportunity to live such a wonderful life and to live in a free country where we can worship Him and we don’t have to fear persecution.”
Crocker said a prayer for churches to work together for the betterment of the community.
“It’s not about us,” he prayed. “It’s not about our titles. It’s not about our credentials. It’s about Your glory.”
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charles Johnson, group chaplain for Marine Aircraft Group 14 at Cherry Point, prayed for families, and the Rev. Dr. Don Hadley, the longtime pastor of First Baptist Church in Havelock, offered prayers for the military, police and firefighters.
“Dear Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, focus our prayers now on the ones fighting our wars, on the police patrolling our streets to suppress crime and arrest criminals, and on the firefighters who keep our homes and businesses from burning down,” he said.
Patricia Nelson, of the Havelock Church of the Nazarene, said she appreciated the service.
“It’s always good when we can join fellow Christians and pray for our city and nation,” she said. “It was a special time.”