By Bruce Boyer
Coming together in prayer as a community is critical during these difficult times. We need God to lead, guide, and protect us. Kernersville churches are partnering for a free National Day of Prayer event on Thursday, May 5. The prayer event will be from 7 – 7:45 AM, so that it will not conflict with the work day. The community is invited to gather informally in front of Town Hall. Prayers will be led by various people of faith from the community, including Mayor Dawn Morgan, Kernersville Alderman J.R. Gorham, Darlene Pearson, Rev. Carol Fulton, Duane Long, Darrell Walker, and retired police officer Sean Houle. Each will focus on a different topic, including government, military, family, the church, business, education, media, and prayers for First Responders. Chick-fil-A is providing a light breakfast. In the event of rain, the National Day of Prayer event will be held at the Kernersville Family YMCA.
“Exalt the Lord, Who Has Established Us” is the 2022 national theme. The theme is based on Colossians 2:6-7, which recognizes that the Lord has established community and how we live our lives. The passage reads: So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
The National Day of Prayer event has a rich 30-year history in Kernersville. Pastor Elliott Lutz (Fountain of Life Lutheran Church), Pastor Jeff Barnes (Kernersville Friends Church), and YMCA Director Chris Booth are coordinating this year’s event.
The National Day of Prayer is one of several activities coordinated by the Kernersville Christian Minister’s Fellowship, a partnership of 14 Kernersville churches, acting as one unified “people of God.” Throughout the year, the KCMF brings together area churches to address needs in our community. “When we work together, we can do much more,” says Pastor Elliott Lutz. Pastor Lutz has served in communities of varying sizes and recognizes that the faith community can have a greater impact in a community the size of Kernersville than larger communities. Lutz said, “There is something special about Kernersville that other communities don’t have. Historically, the faith community has always been important in Kernersville.” He noted that the center of the official town seal displays an image of a church.
Pastor Carol E. Fulton (Children of Zion Outreach) is the Kernersville Christian Minister’s Fellowship chair. Fulton is pleased that Kernersville churches have come together with a shared vision of unity. The current group started working together in 2015 to host a combined community worship service of song and dance. Its theme, “One Great God,” paved the way for a 2016 “Make Your Community Stronger” forum that brought together area residents to learn about issues facing our community and how people can make a difference to help their fellow man. It has grown to conduct a variety of annual events with leadership shared among pastors in the community.
The most recent event continued a 31-year tradition of a Good Friday Crosswalk, simulating Jesus’s walk to His crucifixion. A procession of over 100 people followed the cross from the North Main Street Food Lion parking lot, passed through downtown Kernersville and concluded at Mount Gurr Cemetery. Pastors Randy Edwards (Grace Presbyterian) and Jeff Barnes (Kernersville Friends Church) coordinated this year’s event.
In September, the fellowship of churches will host a free community concert at the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden. The evening will feature a variety of pop, country, and jazz music. The Kernersville Alive concert is coordinated by Pastor Jeff Barnes (Kernersville Friends Church) and Pastor Carol Fulton.
The Kernersville Christian Minister’s Fellowship will host several Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. events on January 15-16, 2023. Events will include a worship service, panel discussion, possible seminars, and a partnership of Kernersville churches for a community service project. Rev. Dr. Mike Gehring (Main Street United Methodist Church) and Rev. Dr. Keith Vereen (Providence Baptist Church) provide the leadership for the 2023 MLK events.
In addition to signature events throughout the year, the fellowship conducts a monthly community prayer at Founder’s Park. The public is invited to participate. They meet at Noon on the first Wednesday of the month. Founder’s Park is located downtown Kernersville, at the intersection of Main and Mountain Street.
The fellowship also provides year-round Chaplin services for the Kernersville Police Department and Kernersville Fire/Rescue. Many of its members also give the opening prayer for Kernersville Board of Aldermen meetings.
The list of participating churches is growing. Current participants include Children of Zion Outreach, First Christian Church, Fountain of Life Lutheran Church, Grace Kernersville, Holy Cross Catholic Church, Jehovah Shammah Ministries, Kernersville Friends Church, Kernersville Wesleyan Church, Living Hope Church, Main Street United Methodist Church, Mount Pleasant and Shiloh United Methodist Churches, Providence Baptist Church, Sedge Garden United Methodist Church, and The Summit Church.
The unity of the faith community makes Kernersville a special community like no other.