Prayer block party for back to school set for Aug. 5

Published 2:15 pm Wednesday, July 26, 2017


A back to school prayer block party hosted by Through the Grace of God Ministries is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Aug. 5 at Second Avenue between Seventh Street and Eighth Street South.

The evening will offer “a night of prayer, fellowship and song,” a press release from the ministry read.

“It’s a free event, it doesn’t cost anybody a cent,” Brother Ralph Bingham, director of Through the Grace of God Ministries, said.

“The main purpose is just so we can get together with churches and the community to pray for the school year,” Bingham said.

An opening prayer ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Prayers will be for students and teachers as the new school year starts, and especially for protection of the schools during the school year, Bingham said.

Bingham said protection is a key area for prayer because schools across the nation have experienced much violence in recent years.

Two stages, one at each end of the street, will offer entertainment with Gospel singing “for the adults” and singing and drama for the youth, Bingham said.

“They’ll be going simultaneously,” he said.

Bingham said church groups will alternate stage time for the youth stage.

Churches are invited to support the night of prayer by bringing a 10-by-10-foot pop-up tent to line the streets with. They are encouraged to bring banners and signs supporting local schools to display from their tents.

Food, drinks and snacks will be available at various tents.

“We’ll set up a big grill and do hotdogs,” Bingham said of Through the Grace of God Ministries. The ministry may also provide drinks and snacks.

According to Bingham, the last time Through the Grace of God Ministries hosted a prayer block party was three years ago.

Hundreds of people attended.

“It was a tremendous turnout for that,” Bingham said. “We’re just glad to have the opportunity to do it again.”

Through the Grace of God Ministries is a local non-profit which strives to supply provisions to people in need within the Clanton community.

“We’re basically here to meet the immediate needs of the community,” Bingham said.

According to Bingham, the ministry provides lunch daily between 11 a.m. and noon, meals Thursday to Friday between 5 and 6 p.m. and supplies to the community items such as clothing, eggs, produce and other food items, health and beauty aids and sometimes furniture.

The ministry also does various services, such as food drives, throughout the year.

“We just try to fill some folks’ voids in their lives,” Bingham said.

As far as the prayer block party goes, Bingham said several churches have called in to the ministry to reserve a spot on the street. He encourages more churches to seize the opportunity.

“Everybody, let’s get involved in this — let’s make this a big success this year!” he said.