Prayer meetings held outside western Kentucky courthouses

Originally published at Western Recorder –

Clinton—New Bethel Baptist Church and the West Kentucky Baptist Association have been holding prayer meetings outside their courthouse once a month.

“Beginning in July, I woke up early in the morning with a heaviness on my heart. I began to call around, and on the Fourth of July weekend, we ended up having about 100 people show up. I just felt an urgency on my heart that we begin to pray,” said organizer Kevin Keeling, pastor of New Bethel.

“We just felt that our Christian values were being taken away,” he said. “I felt it was time.”

So Keeling started asking people not only at his local courthouse, but at courthouses around the state to get as many people involved in praying. He hopes a movement soon will spread across the state.

“That is what was really on my heart, to get as many churches to go to courthouses and pray,” Keeling said.

Other associations are picking up on the idea, including Grave County Association. Their prayer meetings have drawn more than 200.

The prayer meetings have been held on the lawn of the Hickman County courthouse. Beginning with a devotional, the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer, the events last about an hour.

“These are not political rallies; these are prayer meetings,” emphasized Charles Blair, West Kentucky Association director of missions. “We are delighted for politicians and elected officials to come. We pray for them. We pray for our military and our police forces.

“The idea is to gather around the flag at the courthouse or a city hall and to have prayer meetings regularly and let our elected officials know that Christians in general care about them,” he said.

The desired outcome is for Christians who are in positions of leadership across the state to feel empowered. “We want them to feel that they have rights as Christians, as citizens, and that they can express their views,” Blair said.

Rather than feeling stifled by political correctness, “we want them to have the liberty that is in Christ,” he added.

“We take the stands we take on Sunday morning, and we preach the sermons. But I don’t think the world ever sees us taking a stand,” Keeling said.

And, that catalyst led to their holding the prayer rallies out in the open at county courthouses, rather than inside their sanctuaries. “(We want) to let the world know there is a Christian group of believers who stand on biblical principles,” Keeling said. (WR)