Claiborne County prays for Tennessee

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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Stay Fearless Tennessee held a community gathering at the Claiborne County Courthouse on Friday evening. Over 100 people gathered to hear the reading of House Joint Resolution 803 (HJR803) and to join in prayer for our state and nation.

Their efforts are based on Bible verse 2 Chronicles 7:14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

“We are doing this on behalf of a request from Gov. Lee and the 113th Assembly that declared the entire month of July would be a month of prayer, fasting and repentance,” Dan Spurlock said in  opening the program.

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He pointed to Tennessee announcing their resolution, Louisiana’s governor putting the 10 Commandments back in all schools and Oklahoma’s superintendent of schools declaring the Bible to be taught as a historical document.

“Never in my life have I seen three states make such a declaration,” he said. “The most incredible thing about that is even though those all got done within 30 days of each other, none of them were collaborating together.”

Spurlock also recognized the local community leaders in attendance.

“We’ve got our county mayor here tonight. We’ve got commissioners here, law enforcement is here, first responders, school teachers, we’ve got churches and pastors. But the most important and powerful thing we’ve got is we the people,” Spurlock said. “. . .because we can join together and make a statement before all of America and especially Tennessee.”

The program opened with the pledge of allegiance to the American flag and the pledge of allegiance to the Christian flag.

Mike Gibson from Hancock County performed his song of prayer “Heal Our Land.”

Claiborne County Mayor Joe Brooks read a letter penned by the State Rep. Monty Fritts and State Sen. Mark Pody and State Rep. Monty Fritts that accompanied HJR803. They were two of the resolution’s sponsors.

The letter calls those who are physically able and spiritually inclined to join in this 30-day season of prayer and intermittent fasting during July for God’s grace, mercy and blessing for Tennessee and our nation.

Brooks was joined in reading sections of the resolution by Carl Nichols with Claiborne County Tourism, recent Claiborne High School graduate Allie Jones and Idella Johnson from Change Claiborne.

Designated prayers were then given. Rev. James Shoffner from Riverview Baptist Church prayed for the church, Tim Withers prayed for those in need of rehabilitation, Director of Schools Meredith Arnold prayed for the schools and the youth, as the adopted mother of a Foster child Naomi Guy prayed for broken families and Jeannine Courtney prayed for the state of Tennessee and the nation.

State Rep. Monty Fritts from Rockwood was one of HJR803’s sponsors. He said the event in Claiborne County was his fifth such gathering on Friday.

“248 years ago we had 56 men to sign away their fortunes, their homes, their reputations and their lives — they signed the Declaration of Independence that said ‘we’ve been endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’” he said. “We’ve forgotten all of that today, Amen. We’ve also forgotten that not only did they declare their independence from an evil Great Britain — they were the one-world government of 1776. They, by default, declared an absolute dependence on God Almighty. They used those words intentionally and we’ve forgotten that in America.

“I stand before you, friends, repentant before you and before God Almighty. . . I’ve sat on the sideline and watched debauchery and perversion and corruption overtake our government. I stand in need to repent tonight. I stand in need of forgiveness because it is my sin,” Fritts continued. “That could bring the judgment on our nation that I believe we are seeing today. . . We are in a sackcloth and ashes, rip our clothes time in this state and in this nation.”

Fritts said there was a 360-degree attack on our children and on weak Christians.

“The why behind what we wrote (in the resolution) is because I think America is in grave trouble. I think Tennessee is in grave trouble,” he said. “But I do believe there is hope and his name is Jesus. I think if his people will ask, he is anxiously awaiting to bless us.”

Through Friday Fritts said the resolution had been read in 25 counties and was headed out to west Tennessee next week in his efforts to visit all 95 counties.

A complete copy of the resolution and more information can be found at

Their efforts can also be watched on the Pray4TN Facebook page.

Those tools have seen responses from Christians across the country and across the world.

Fritts shared a message from Fiona, who described herself as an Australian living in Australia.

“If the barely flickering flame goes out in America, the world will be in darkness,” she posted on the website. “I’m praying with you for me and my family’s survival.”

“I don’t think that’s just Australia. I think that’s Claiborne County, Roane County, Knox County and Shelby County,” Fritts said. “God wants to do a mighty work but it’s up to us. He’s the constant in this equation. The variable is us.”

Rev. Sheldon Livesay gave an invocation and Rev. Donnie Bannister blew the Shofar to sound the call to close out Friday’s service.

“That concludes our evening here on the courthouse steps, but you’ve got to remember this is not a one night event, it’s the month of July,” Spurlock said in closing. “God bless you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Peace be with you all.”