Prayer at the flagpole

Mark Price, pastor of Porter Freewill Baptist Church (left), addresses a gathering of students, parents, and school staff Thursday morning at the Prayer at the Flagpole event at Portsmouth Elementa4ry School.

It was early in the morning, 7:45 a.m. to be exact. A slight chill was in the air, calling for light jackets and some sweaters that would be abandoned later in the day as temperatures rose. The setting was the flagpole in a small island of grass across from the front of Portsmouth Elementary School in Portsmouth. Children jumped out of cars and ran to join those assembled there.

Mark Price, pastor of Porter Freewill Baptist Church, challenged the children to go into their neighborhoods and tell people about Jesus Christ, at the annual Day of Prayer, Prayer at the Flagpole event.

“This morning I’m going to share with the kids the importance of the fact that they believe in Jesus and sharing that with others from the great commission,” Price said. “So I’m going to share with them about some friends of mine that are serving in Kenya, that have left everything her to go there and share the story. And surely if they can share it there, we can share it here.”

Students, parents, and school administrators and teachers gathered around the flagpole and listened intently to Price’s message.

“Thanks to our administration, we’ve been able to do this every month at this time,” Kathi Cassity, a teacher at PES, said. “God chose us to spread the word and to tell others about him, and this is one way that we can share his word with others.”

Cassity said bringing all of the different segments of the school situation together is one of the important components of the Prayer at the Flagpole.

“It’s also a good unity time because it includes the parents, staff and the students,” Cassity said. “It’s something they can all attend and take part in. It’s a good time to just stop and remember how thankful we are for our country and the freedom our country gives us, and then the privilege we have to worship him.”

After a brief message from Price, a prayer was shared with those present. See You at the Pole (SYATP) is a gathering of Christian students at a flagpole in front of their local school for prayer, scripture-reading and worship during the early morning before school starts.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.