In what has been Rochester’s rainiest spring, skies cleared for hundreds gathered before Rochester City Hall to join other Americans in prayer on May 2. This National Day of Prayer, established by President Truman, occurs on the first Thursday of May.
Mayor Lovely Warren, County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, City Council President Loretta Scott, along with other City Council members joined Bishop David J. Singleton and other clergy in prayer. Sens. Joe Robach and Rich Funke sent a join proclamation endorsing of the National Day of Prayer.
The turnout gratified Bishop Singleton, the event organizer, who said people arrived from Florida, Texas and Niagara Falls, not to mention five busloads of students from the Charles Finney School (named after evangelist Charles Finney, who led a historic religious revival in 19th-century Rochester). Evangelist, vocalist and actress Kitra Williams came from New York City to sing for this event. Williams is the former lead of TD Jakes “Woman Thou Art Loosed.” She also appeared in Tyler Perry’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and Oprah Winfrey’s “The Color Purple.” In addition, 10 shofars — rams’ horns blown as wind instruments during biblical times — called those gathered for prayer.
At the stroke of noon, this ecumenical gathering joined all of America for 15 minutes of prayer for the nation and our local communities.
“It was all the Lord’s doing. He makes us look good. He puts us out front,” Singleton said.
He noted that Rochester has a history of changing America with leaders like Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. “We could be the premier city in the nation to live, work and visit. This will not happen by accident. It will only happen on purpose. I believe as we impact Rochester with our prayers, we will generate more synergy that will flow outward across the area, state and even the world.”
Bishop Singleton is not a man to leave prayers at the doorway of City Hall. He spoke of Global Impact Saturday on Sept. 14, when hopes people will step onto their churches’ front lawns and share God’s love with every passerby by providing free food, music, games or whatever they prefer — certainly a way to put the prayers offered on the National Day of Prayer into action.
Call 585-262-6420 or visit prayerinitiative.org for more information about Global Impact Saturday.