MBC Legislative Prayer Service today was a blessing

There is so much I could say about this morning’s Missouri Baptist Convention Legislative Prayer Service in which I believe we had the largest crowd we have ever had in the event’s seven-year history.
We were delighted that Gov. Jay Nixon took an hour out of his busy schedule to attend and it was a blessing to hear my dear friend Bob Loggins pray for the governor and his staff. All of the prayers offered for the House, the Senate and Missouri Supreme Court were Christ-exalting and filled with love and hope for our public servants.
Ok, I’ll play name-dropper about some of those in attendance. It is always a joy to see members of the Missouri Supreme Court and three were able to attend the event: Judges Mary Russell (who has attended all seven), Michael Price and Zel Fischer. There were too many members, (I would guess at least 40), of the Missouri Senate and House. Among those I recall were Senators Mike Kehoe and Bill Stoeffer and State Reps. Jeannie Riddle and John McCaherty, a new member who is also the pastor of First Baptist Church, Murphy, near St. Louis. McCaherty is the subject of a front page feature in the up-coming edition of The Pathway that will be mailed statewide Tuesday. You do not want to miss it.
I’ve often told people that they should attend this event if for no reason other than to come and be blessed by the tremendous music. Today’s service was no exception. Jamie Hitt made the hair stand on people’s necks with her magnificient rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” John Francis provided a touching conclusion to the service with his trumpet solo and vocal of “God Bless America.” The Concord Quartet received a thunderous standing ovation for their offering of The Gaither Vocal Band’s “Let Freedom Ring.”
My pal, Randy Johnson, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Republic, delivered a spectacular message that my dear friend, Judge Zel Fischer, ruled to be “perfect” for the occasion.
It was a joy to be able to make a special presentation to another dear friend, Carl Ziehmer of California, Missouri, and his family in loving memory of  his late wife and my former assistant, Andree. Carl’s remarks, so heartfelt, absolutely won the hearts of everyone in attendance and he the family also received a standing ovation.
MBC Executive Director David Tolliver did a terrific job in his introductions of everyone on the program. Of course my pastor, Monte Shinkle, and all of the staff at my home church, Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City, did an outstanding job of hosting this important event.
I know I’m not mentioning other people that I should and I ask for forgiveness. It was a tremendous blessing and if you have never attended this service, I hope you will consider it next January. In the meantime, I will leave you with the words to the Gaither song, “Let Freedom Ring:”
Deep within the heart has always known that there was freedom
Somehow breathed into the very soul alive
The prisoner, the powerless, the saved have always known it
There?s something that keeps reaching for the sky
Even life begins because a baby fights for freedom
And songs we love to sing have freedom?s theme
Some have walked through fire and flood to find a place of freedom
And some faced hell itself for freedom?s dream
Let freedom ring wherever minds know what it means to be in chains
Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
We can be free and we can sing — let freedom ring
God built freedom into every fiber of creation
And He meant for us to all be free and whole
When my Lord bought freedom with the blood of His redemption
His cross stamped pardon on my very soul
I?ll sing it out with every breath, I?ll let the whole world hear it
This hallelujah anthem of the free
That iron bars and heavy chains can never hold us captive
The Son has made us free and free indeed
Let freedom ring down through the ages from a hill called Calvary
Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
You can be free and you can sing let freedom ring
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
You can be free and you can sing let freedom ring
You can be free and you can sing — let freedom ring — let freedom ring


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