Temperatures in the low teens did not stop a Praying Across Tennessee meeting, originally planned for the Bradley County Courthouse Plaza, from meeting Wednesday.
A courtroom looked more like the Upper Room mentioned in Acts as about 40 people bowed their heads or knelt in prayer for revival, local leaders and those “who do not know Jesus.”
Tennessee Baptist Convention executive director Randy Davis led the event.
“We are going to go to every county [in Tennessee] and have this kind of prayer meeting in this year,” Davis said.
Davis said the organization sends out emails to local pastors in their organization, encouraging them to invite their congregations and their friends from other denominations.
Davis said he always tries to hold the prayer meeting in front of a local courthouse.
“It is in the center of the county and it is kind of a symbolic visual center of the culture,” Davis said.
Sometimes having it at or in the courthouse is not logistically possible. In that case, the event is held at a church close to the courthouse.
While touring the state Davis carries a church bell in the bed of his pickup truck.
“The church bell reminds me that it is all about the church … the bride of Christ,” Davis said.
Deemed the “Salvation Bell” by Davis, the bell also reminds him of his mission in the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
“It was as if the Lord said to me, ‘Randy, ring the bell of salvation. Ring it as loudly as possible,’” Davis said. “We need to ring the salvation bell across Tennessee because of the vast and growing darkness in our state.”
He said there are many in the world who have never heard of Jesus, yet there are also those in Tennessee who are not Christians.
“Whether it’s across the ocean or across the street, you can miss heaven from either place,” Davis said.
David said that even in an area with as many churches as Bradley County, there are still many who do not attend church.
He said it was the responsibility of the church, regardless of denomination, to tell people about the love of Jesus.
Davis spoke to the pastors and associate pastors present.
“Yours, in my opinion, is the most influential position in this land for you to stand in the pulpits and open up the Bible and preach the ‘Thus sayeth the word of God’ — and not be concerned with what is politically correct but what is biblically correct,” Davis said.
Civic and spiritual leaders present stood and walked the center aisle, while others present surrounded them and began to pray.
Bradley County was the 14th stop on Davis’ statewide tour.