Clovis takes a day to pray

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Clovis Christian School’s Ashley Ramirez, 9, sang praise songs during Thursday’s National Day of Prayer rally in front of the Curry County Courthouse. Nineteen third-graders came from the school to lead the pledge of allegiance.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

For about an hour and a half, a portion of Main Street became what Pastor Richard Masterson called “a church without walls.”

More than 100 people gathered in a blocked-off section in front of the Curry County Courthouse Thursday. They celebrated the National Day of Prayer, an event aimed at bringing church communities together to pray for the nation.

The event was sponsored by the Clovis Christian Ministerial Alliance, according to David Boswell, master of ceremonies.

Hank Baskett Jr. said the event was an expression of the country’s constitutionally-protected freedom of religion.

“We gathered here today and we experienced freedom,” said Baskett, who led the prayer for families.

Terry Blaschke, a Clovis banker, prayed with his family at the event. He said he prays every day and his family goes to the First Church of the Nazarene. He said he would like to see prayer become a daily habit for everyone.

“We shouldn’t have to have a proclamation for it, as a nation founded on Christian principles it’s a part of our culture, our way of life,” he said, referring to a proclamation Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield read, naming May 1, 2008 the National Day of Prayer in Clovis.

Terry’s daughter Diana, 16, said she prayed for the military and for uniting churches and the community.

“It’s very important for families to pray together,” she said. “That’s what makes a family, their faith in God.”

Ami Rogers said this was the first time she participated in the event. She and her husband, Nathan, moved to Clovis from California.

“I’ve never lived somewhere where they did this,” said Rogers, whose husband is an airman at Cannon Air Force Base and a member of the honor guard that presented colors during the event.

She said her prayers went to the military and servicemen stationed in conflicts overseas.

“They need all the help they can get,” she said.