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Crowd gathers in downtown Gainesville for National Day of Prayer
Supporters of Israel hold signs along Jesse Jewell Parkway on Thursday afternoon following the National Day of Prayer gathering in the downtown square.

Rain, wind and malfunctioning speakers could not stop Hall County’s community of Christians from gathering together for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday.

“The crowd grows every year, including this year,” said Steve Cronic, former Hall County sheriff. Cronic would know since he has been in attendance at the event every year since it began.

Attendees were encouraged to rotate among the seven themed stations and listen to the assigned prayer leaders. Hall County resident Kim Fletter was the speaker for the government location. She was approached at a local prayer meeting for the position due to her enthusiasm for politics. Though it was her first time attending, she said that she happily accepted.

“God is our executive branch, our legislative branch that makes our laws and our judicial branch: the true judge,” Fletter said during her prayer. She added that Christians should all pray for the president and the congressmen and congresswomen in our country.

Retired Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle brought attention to the United States’ privilege of free speech and freedom of religion during his prayer for the military.

“I am thankful we live in a country where we can pray out in the open like this, in the middle of town square,” Cagle said. “The price for freedom is paid for by our heroes in the military.”

The event was organized by the Hall County Prayer Network, and the subjects were based off National Day of Prayer’s website.

“We try to get prayer leaders with an interest in the topic they’re praying over like Joel Williams from WDUN radio station being in charge of the media station,” said Maxine Wagner, spokeswoman for the Hall County Prayer Network. “This is the biggest turnout in the four years we’ve been hosting.”

William and Daniella Stowe, Free Chapel Church members, were among the new participants in the event.

“It was really organized and encouraging to see so many people,” William Stowe said. He thought the media topic was relevant, especially for the millennial generation who are all about social media. “People get their identity from media, so it’s important that we pray for it.”

The community was invited to walk with signs to the intersection of Jesse Jewell Parkway and Main Street.
“It was a silent march to show our support for the Christians living Israel,” Wagner said.
She also said that May 5 is Holocaust Remembrance Day.