KEYSER - Staying in tune with the harsh reality of the closure announcement made earlier this week by Verso, organizers of the National Day of Prayer observance in Keyser opened the day with prayer for the workers, businesses, and communities that will be adversely affected by the loss.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune managing editor
KEYSER - Staying in tune with the harsh reality of the closure announcement made earlier this week by Verso, organizers of the National Day of Prayer observance in Keyser opened the day with prayer for the workers, businesses, and communities that will be adversely affected by the loss.
Frances Jones, co-chair on the local National Day of Prayer observance, urged everyone gathered at the Ponderosa for breakfast Thursday morning to not only remember their friends, family and neighbors in prayer, but to also help them keep their faith strong as they move forward into an unknown future.
Luke McKenzie, director of the Mineral County 911 Center, kicked off the observance with a prayer in which he, too, called for prayer for each and every one directly or indirectly affected by the closure.
The crowd than proceeded into the restaurant, with a color guard supplied by the Boy Scouts, followed by community leaders, elected officials and first responders, leading the way.
With the theme of the 2019 National Day of Prayer being “Love One Another,” guest speaker Apostle Michele Perrera, senior pastor of Woodlawn Christian Fellowship in Gwynn Oak, Maryland, urged those in the packed restaurant to “use your power as a believer to speak blessings” to those around you.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was guest speaker for the noon NDP event held at the courthouse, and commented that “all of us are called to love each other, and sometimes that is not easy … but when tempers run high, that is when prayer is needed the most.”
Pastor Gordon Brubaker, co-chair of National Day of Prayer, served as emcee for both the breakfast and the noon program.
Gayle Kasmier provided music for the breakfast, singing the National Anthem and “Love Can Build a Bridge,” and Paula Eisenhour performed for the noon event, singing “Open Up the Heavens” and “The Anchor Holds.”
Pastor Carrie Deas of the Church of God in Christ in Piedmont offered a praise dance during the breakfast.
Circuit Court Judge Jay Courrier offered a prayer for the nation during the breakfast.
Various individuals representing nine factions of American life offered prayers for their respective groups during the new event: Pastor Randy Nairn of Emmanuel Episcopal Church offered prayer for churches and pastors; Mike Price, director of the Burlington United Methodist Family Services, offered prayer for families; Dwight Williams, assistant superintendent of Mineral County Schools, for those in education; Lauren Ellifritz, Mineral County clerk, for those in local, state and national government; Pastor Mike Wyatt of Gospel Life Baptist Church, for those in the media; Kevin Shreve, member of Heirborn Ministries and Apple Alley Players, for those in arts and entertainment; Jerry Whisner, Mineral County commissioner, for those in business; Charles Gulbronson, Mineral County Magistrate, for first responders; nad Pastor Gary Cannon, chaplain of the Boyce-Houser Post 41 American Legion, for those in the military.