By Robert Burgins, Jr. 


The second day of March 2024 was one of reflection and of securing spiritual consciousness for the future. Bessemer celebrated National Prayer and Unity Walk Day with spiritual leaders and servicemen/women of the city. A bright and humid day, the elements caught sincere citizens in full self alertness and observation by way of blessings they’ve realized over time as well as blessings the city of Bessemer has seen throughout their years as residents.  

Held at DeBardeleben Park, the grounds were covered with a sense of urgency yet serenity, as moving sounds of Gospel greats such as Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC’s, The Rance Allen Group, Jekalyn Carr, and others could be heard through the DJ’s speakers. 

This annual celebration was first recognized in 1775 by the first Continental Congress, with several U.S. Presidents since who’ve signed multiple proclamations for a National Day of Prayer (which includes presidents, Obama, Clinton, Ford and others). We’re glad our city has taken the initiative to give the glory to whom it’s due also, so that our citizens and representatives have a sense of authority that’s greater than this world from whom all blessings spring forth. 

Riveting, passionate and considerate prayers for all forms of citizens of the city, were shared by local pastors, first responder(s) representatives, and city officials this day at DeBardeleben Park where a united walk was formed and displayed which included many others (including residents) all assembled as one. 

The celebration started off with a brilliant musical rendition by Bessemer City High’s School Band followed by a sincere greeting by Mayor Kenneth Gulley. 

Pastor Noah Rocker (Fountain of Life Church) was Facilitator, sharing inspirational words as he introduced those who shared touching prayers such as Chief Kendric Hughley, Pastor George Matthews, Jr., Pastor Allan Kendrick, Deputy Derrick Henley and others who shared meaningful prayer petitions for this special day and moment for the city. 

Lawson State Community College Choir also shared beautiful song selections such as “I Am Still His Child” and others. 

The message for the day was brought forth by Pastor Douglas Caddell (Canaan Baptist Church) from Acts Chapter 12 verses 1-5 with subject “There Is Power in Prayer”. 

Bessemer’s Chamber of Commerce also presented refreshments such as hot dogs, chips and drinks. 

Pastor Caddell stated, “On today we want residents to know we don’t want our youth to come to us, we’d like to go to them and let them know, any problems can be solved. Don’t let the devil use you, Come to God.” 

B.C.C. President, LaTasha Williams also told us, “We want our city to know that we’re praying people and we care and want God to know we stand with the Holy Spirit.” 

We thank our city leaders and representatives for such a day filled with voices of thankfulness, spiritual appreciation and the consideration for us as citizens. We pray for our city along with our representatives, and hope the best for all other states, cities and our nation as a whole.