Tribune-Courier News Editor
Ten-year coordinator of National Day of Prayer in Marshall County Brenda Hodges announced she would step down from her role at Thursday’s event at the Marshall County Courthouse.
“I read an article about National Day of Prayer and thought it was something we needed to do here, but thought someone else would do it,” Hodges said.
“I called and they sent me some information, but I left it on the table. Next year, they sent me a letter, and I didn’t think I could do it. The next year, God said, ‘Yes you can,’ and I called and said I would do it.”
National organizers sent Hodges 25 balloons to begin her program. The second year, Mail Boxes Plus sent printed her programs, and has contributed this service every year save one.
“National Day of Prayer is important because one day we may not be allowed to have it,” Hodges said.
“It seems like we give up more and more freedoms every day. Prayer is the one thing we will always have, because they can’t stop us from thinking. It will always be important.”
Hodges said she is stepping down due to health problems and to give the event an infusion of new blood.
“I was sick last year, and this time, the event just snuck up on me,” Hodges said. “I hadn’t made up my mind until Thursday, though.”
Hodges said she asked Deputy Judge-Executive Melonie Chambers to assume her role as coordinator. Chambers accepted, but asked Hodges to assist.
Hodges said she will continue to work at CVS Pharmacy and will assist in organizing Flag Day observations.
“I’ve been glad to help for several years,” Chambers said. “I’ve known Brenda since I was little and she’s always been a wonderful person. She did this from the kindness of her heart and love for her county and community.”
Chambers said her goal as organizer is to continue to grow the event and to bring more people to the courthouse every year.
“We want people to understand the importance of prayer not just one day, but every day. It is what gets people through life,” Chambers said.
Chambers said prayer is important in day-to-day life, and need not be formal.
“It’s not just for when people are sick or have died, Chambers said. “You can pray for leaders, the military, family and schools.
“God is important and should not be pushed aside, just because a few people don’t believe.”
Hodges said while stepping away, she still had some goals in mind for National Day of Prayer.
“I hope one year, we have all women do the programing. I hope in another year, we have enough people to hold hands and encircle the courthouse to pray. Then I hope one year, we have a candlelight service.”