Port Arthur celebrates Quasquicentennial by joining National Day of Prayer

Published 2:50 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

Rev. Albert Clavijo’s words rang true to Darlene Thomas-Pierre.

“It’s time to hope again. It’s time to dream again. And I agree with that. I love that,” Thomas-Pierre said after the Port Arthur Quasquicentennial National Day of Prayer Service Thursday at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center.

David Pound of First Christian Church Port Arthur echoed her sentiments.

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“It gives us hope with all the things going on,” Pound said. “We have to remember, God’s plan is perfect and we’re here through Him.”

Pound noted that people sometimes get tunnel vision so he was pleased to see the mixture of those sharing in prayer.

The noon service featured residents from different faiths: Port Arthur Councilman Rev. Donald Frank Sr., Imam Ahmed Abouzid of Islamic Society of Triplex, Rev. Joseph Sigur of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Rev. Michael Nichols of Breath of Life Church, Deacon Fred Owens of Thomas Boulevard Church of Christ, Rev. Albert Clavijo of Triumph Church and Community Pastor Anita Sepeda.

Each speaker offered prayers for something different. Frank offered a prayer for the city, citing author C.W. Lewis who said we are to bloom where we have been planted.

“We have been planted here in Port Arthur, Texas, that, no matter where we began or what our experiences, no matter who we are, what we have done God we are here in Port Arthur, Texas,” Frank said. “And we thank you for it right now. God, 125 years ago Arthur Stilwell established this city, a city by the sea.”

Abouzid, gave information on the Islamic Society and explained that, in his faith, prayer is recited five times a day. He welcomed the audience to visit the Center before offering prayer for leadership.

He spoke of diversity, harmony and love.

Rev. Nichols recited prayers for first responders while Deacon Owens offered prayers for families. Rev. Clavijo gave prayer for health and wellness, and Pastor Sepeda offered prayer for economic prosperity in Spanish.

Rev. Sigur offered prayers for the nation, calling God the unshakable rock upon which this nation was founded and the true source of the rights for which she stands.

Frank told the audience the National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance designated by the United States Congress and held on the first Thursday of May and people are asked to turn to God in prayer and meditation.

The city hosted three National Day of Prayer services in all: one at 6 a.m., one at noon and one to be held at 6 p.m. Thursday.