CLIFTON FORGE — In spite of winds that threatened to topple the tents, the Eastern Alleghany Christian Ministerial Association “covered our community with prayer” during a Community Prayer Event held at Central United Methodist Church in Clifton Forge Sunday afternoon.

Believers of all faiths were invited to send up thanksgiving to God, asking Him to saturate “our community with blessings, freedoms and healing.”  

There were prayers for businesses, churches, schools, leaders/authorities, medical professionals, police, and the military.   

The prayer event opened on the church’s lawn with a welcome by the Rev. Paul Brokaw, pastor of Clifton Forge Presbyterian Church and president of the EACMA. The Rev. Brokaw welcomed those who lined the lawn, sidewalk seated in chairs, some standing, and some who were able to enjoy the event from their cars.  

The Rev. Marion Sortere, pastor, Central United Methodist Church, gave the opening prayer and provided a Scripture reading before she turned the service over to the music team who led the group of believers in praise and worship.  

The music team consisted of Lynn Agee, the organizer, on keyboard; Doug Taliaferro on bass guitar; Dale Muterspaugh on lead vocals; and Robin Powell, Meghan Powell and Michelle Wright on vocals.  

As Martha Edwards offered a prayer of thanksgiving for blessings and freedoms, the tents began to buckle under the force of the wind. Believers ran up to catch the tent and continued to hold it up for the duration of Edwards’ prayer and the service.  

Father Tom Collins offered prayers for healing and division, while the Rev. Carl “Shorty” Wolfe, pastor, Loving Life Fellowship, offered prayers for uncertain futures and fear and stress.   

During the prayers for communities, the Rev. Glen Linthicum offered prayers for the community of believers; all businesses; all churches; and all schools, students, parents, teachers, and staff.  Michelle Wright offered special music: “If My People Who Are Called by My Name.”

Prayers for Leaders/Authorities were offered by the Rev. David Hanks, pastor, Iron Gate Baptist Church.  The Rev. Hanks prayed for all placed in leadership and authority in “our communities” and all those who govern on all levels.

The Prayers of Protection for medical professionals (doctors, nurses, technicians, EMS, fire and rescue) and police were offered by the Rev. Gene Ayars, and prayers for the military were offered by the Rev. Grover Nicely, pastor, Oak Grove Advent Church, Millboro. 

Father Collins returned to offer prayers for spiritual healing, and the event closed with a prayer by Brokaw.   

Believers bought lawn chairs, wore masks and observed social distancing during Sunday’s event.


Attendees stand during a Community Prayer Event, held Sunday afternoon at Central United Methodist Church in Clifton Forge. The event was sponsored by the Eastern Alleghany Christian Ministerial Association. (P.E. Marshall Photo)