Christian community gathers for statewide prayer

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Wednesday’s statewide Day of Prayer brought together countless members of the Christian community for a moment of unity.

Many churchgoers haven’t seen the inside of a church in weeks, but that hasn’t stopped them from worshipping.

“I go to my God multiple times every day,” said Gov. Jim Justice. “I can tell you he will lead us out of this, but today is a very special time for us all to come together.”

At noon on Wednesday, state and church leaders joined forces to participate in a statewide Day of Prayer in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Our time does not permit involvement of all those who worship, but we certainly strongly encourage all to participate wherever you are today as we have prayer together,” said Dr. Dan Anderson with Appalachian Bible College.

Some churches participated by praying on Facebook Live while others published written prayers for congregants to use at home.

“We should be praying every day,” said Rector Susan Claytor at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. “Not only for our state or our community here in Beckley, but for the world.”

In a time where chaos seems to be the only constant, the moment of peace seemed to be exactly what some people needed.

“Anything we can do to bring unity is going to be so important because we are all in this…unknown territory,” Claytor said. “To know that we have people all over the state pausing at this time just to say a prayer, not only for themselves but for each other, that’s just about the most healing thing that could happen for any of us.”

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at