By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – First Christian Memorial – widely known as the Little White Church – in downtown Grapeland will be hosting its annual National Day of Prayer event Thursday, May 3.

According to Tammy Hassell, First Christian Memorial Board President, the event will be held inside the historic church from noon to 1 p.m.

“There will be special music as well as congregational singing,” Hassell said. “Rev. Jon Thornsbury, pastor of Grapeland First United Methodist Church, will be the main speaker for this area event.”

Hassell added that the members of the First Christian Memorial Board will be providing “sack lunches and all the trimmings” for those attending the event.

According to, the theme of this year’s event is “Unity,” chosen to reflect the verse Ephesians 4:3, which encourages readers to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (NIV)

The website explains that the National Day of Prayer was created via a joint resolution of Congress in 1952 and passed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Following a unanimous decision by the House and Senate, President Ronald Reagan signed a law assigning the event to the first Thursday of each May in 1988. Each president who has held office since 1952 has signed a proclamation for the observance.

According to Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the National Day of Prayer, Americans coming together to lift the nation in prayer is of utmost importance.

“Mobilizing unified public prayer for America may be the most important thing we can do right now,” he pointed out. “America is broken. Division is undeniable. Racial tension is alarming. Lawlessness abounds. Reconciliation appears impossible. The National Day of Prayer in America is needed now more than ever before in our nation’s history.”