Communities unite in prayer
During the National Day of Prayer Thursday, dozens of Haywood County residents gathered in their respective towns to hold hands and pray for the nation.
In Canton, about 40 people came to the lawn in front of the Canton Historical Museum in prayer including town leaders and staff. The Rev. Beverly Brock, executive director of the Canton Community Kitchen prayed for Canton, its businesses, employees residents and the mill.
The Rev. Dustin James, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Canton, prayed for local churches, Ryan Jacobson, funeral director for Wells Funeral Homes, prayed for the nation and the Rev. Jay Meadows, pastor of Canton First Baptist Church, prayed for homes.
Jim Francis, Haywood County School Board member, prayed for teachers and schools. He also prayed for the families of Anna Williams, former principal of Meadowbrook Elementary School, and Nichole Reeves, teacher at Junaluska Elementary School, who passed away this school year.
The mayor urged everyone to not only see May 1 as a day of prayer.
"We need to recognize in our hearts that prayer should be every day," he said.
The group closed by singing "God Bless America."
Prayer services also took place in Waynesville, Maggie Valley and Clyde for National Day of Prayer.