A local prayer group has decided to hold prayers on the courthouse square in Jasper Thursday to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is inviting anyone to join them. Brent McCarver, a member of …
A local prayer group has decided to hold prayers on the courthouse square in Jasper Thursday to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is inviting anyone to join them.
Brent McCarver, a member of the group and Jasper's revenue compliance officer, said Monday the AIM men's group, which usually meets the first Thursday of the month at Los Reyes, has cancelled its meal and speaker to walk across the street and mark the day exclusively with prayers during the lunch hour, starting at noon.
A couple of members have also considered fasting from 12:01 a.m. Thursday to 12:01 a.m. Friday, he said.
McCarver said women, children, pastors, youth pastors and members of any church are invited to join them. He also encouraged the public to invite others.
"This is a men's organization (that is hosting the event) but we would welcome any ladies, any Christian who wants to come out there, please come with us and pray with us. We would love to have you," he said.
He added it might even be a good idea to invite people who are not church members to the event.
Currently, the only other National Day of Prayer event scheduled in the county is the annual event in Carbon Hill, which is known for drawing a large crowd. That event will be at noon at Carbon Hill City Hall.
McCarver said, "Greg Wood, (the lead pastor at Jasper First Church of the Nazarene), mentioned to us at one of our lunches that we should do something as a group that we should do something to promote the National Day of Prayer, which is Thursday, May 3. It just happens to be the first Thursday.
"John Jaye, (the minister of education and outreach at Northside Baptist Church), suggested we not have our normal lunch that day and that we meet at the courthouse," he said. "We're not going to have our lunch. We're not going to have a speaker this time. We'll meet on the courthouse lawn.
"The Bible says, 'Those who are called by My name who will reach out in prayer, that the Lord will heal our land.'"
He said the group hopes there will be a large group on the courthouse lawn praying for cities, counties, government, leaders and families.
McCarver said, "We do believe for men, it is time for them to stand up. It is time for them, especially Christian men, to stand up and take their leadership roles in the community. We think this is the best way to do it is to reach out to the Lord and ask for His guidance for our city and our county."
He said the businessmen have met for lunch to have devotionals, starting about six years ago with about four men.
A member of Jasper First Nazarene, McCarver said his old pastor, Greg Story (now the Nazarene district superintendent), asked some men at church if they would like to meet. They originally went through former NFL coach Tony Dungy's book, "Uncommon," with Story giving the devotion and having discussion. McCarver, Story, Terry Willeford and Todd Lee were the original four.
The men started inviting others to come, and now an average of 20 to 25 people come for the monthly meetings.
"It is called AIM, which stands for accountability, integrity and mentoring," he said. "We're non-denominational. We're Christian men involved in the community. We've got judges, educators, coaches, bankers, insurance agents and preachers."
Speakers are scheduled for the meetings. Those who have spoke in the past include Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper and District Judge Greg Williams, senior pastor Lloyd Stilley of Jasper's First Baptist Church, senior pastor Alan Beasley of Jasper First United Methodist Church and coaches from Jasper High School.
A couple of steak-and-egg dinners have been sponsored by the group to raise money for Upward Basketball and Upward Football, although it was unable to do so this year, he said.
Anyone wanting more information may call McCarver at 205-275-5125, Wood at 205-384-4492 or Jaye at 205-384-3214.