By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterMay 10, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 10, 2012) -- People came together at the Headquarters Chapel on Fort Rucker for a service to celebrate their faith during the National Day of Prayer May 3.
"[The National Day of Prayer] is a coming together of all the communities," said Chaplain (Col.) Dennis Newton. "We're supporting the surrounding communities and there are thousands of prayers going on today all around the world. It isn't just us -- this is the world day of prayer."
Newton said it is important to recognize this day to show that there are people on Fort Rucker who believe that prayer can bring about changes.
The service began as Chaplain (Capt.) Tim Gresham welcomed the attendees with the invocation to tell people why it is necessary to celebrate the National Day of Prayer.
"The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage," he said. "Since the first call to prayer in 1775 when the Continental Congress asked for the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued throughout our history."
Gresham said a joint resolution was signed in 1952 by President Harry S. Truman that declared a National Day of Prayer, which was amended in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to permanently set the National Day of Prayer as the first day of May.
He then opened up a prayer to show thanks for "preserving our character and preserving the spirit of our people in this nation.'
The service continued with a scripture reading by Sgt. Robert Gulbrandsen, who read from 2 Chronicles 7: 12-15, followed by a prayer for the nations of the world, by Chaplain (Maj.) Mike Keifman; a prayer for our nation, by Chaplain (Capt.) Paul Cartmill; a prayer for the state and local communities, by Chaplain (Maj.) Gerald DuBose; and a prayer for the Soldiers and military Families, by Gresham.
The congregation also came together to sing hymns throughout the service that included America the Beautiful, Eternal Father, Strong to Save, and My Country 'tis of Thee'.
After most of the prayers were said and the hymns were sung, a sermon was given by Cartmill, who was reminded of the Soldiers that prayed before going into combat and the Families that prayed for them as well.
"Every time I come into [the Headquarters Chapel], I think about those who paid the ultimate price," he said. "To me, this is a hallowed place and I feel very honored to be here [during] such a time."
The general message of the sermon he gave was that of communication with God and for people to have a spiritual awakening.
"As a pastor for almost 22 years before coming into the Army, I studied a lot of spiritual awakenings," said Cartmill. "Great spiritual awakenings didn't happen because of great preachers or great organizations -- It happened because calm, everyday people began to seek the face of God with great urgency and total dependency."
Ginney Neal, contracting officer's representative and quality assurance evaluator for the Directorate of Human Resources on Fort Rucker, said she attended the service as she does every year because she believes in the power of prayer.
"I've been on Fort Rucker for 33 years and I've attended the National Day of Prayer service for the past several years to pray for our country, our leaders, our Soldiers, our Families and our civilians," she said. "I believe that when we get together and pray, things can change -- God can change things."