Gov. Justice, religious leaders hold statewide Day of Prayer and Hope service



CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined religious leaders from across West Virginia today to conduct a virtual statewide Day of Prayer and Hope service.

“In West Virginia, we’re proud of a lot of different things. We’re proud that we’ve got our state doing well in lots of different areas. But what we’re most proud of in this state is our faith,” Gov. Justice said. “So we come to you, again, and I ask for you to join me in prayer as we continue to face the challenge of COVID-19 as we approach Christmas.”
The service was held to provide West Virginians an opportunity to come together in prayer during the holiday season to honor the 5,251 West Virginians who have been lost to COVID-19.

“It’s been really tough on a lot of us – especially the families of those 5,251 great West Virginians that we’ve lost,” Gov. Justice said. “As we go forward, our only course is to lean on our faith to get through this.”

The service was broadcast live online and on television stations across the state.

Gov. Justice announced that he had issued a proclamation formally declaring Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021 as an official Day of Prayer and Hope throughout West Virginia.

Click here to view the proclamation

Leaders from many different religious backgrounds participated in the event to provide all West Virginians, no matter their religious denomination, an opportunity to pray as one people.

The following religious leaders joined the Governor for the service:
  • Dr. Dan Anderson, President, Appalachian Bible College (Mt. Hope, WV)
  • Father Tijo George, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church (Huntington, WV)
  • Rabbi Joe Blair, Temple Israel (Charleston, WV)
  • Reverend Matthew J. Watts, Pastor, Grace Bible Church (Charleston, WV)
State Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad also provided remarks during the ceremony.

The service also included musical performances by the Cabell Midland High School Ensemble, the Parkersburg South High School Chamber Ensemble, and Wyatt Blankenship, a 6th-grader at Baileysville Elementary and Middle School in Wyoming County, as well as a recitation by Jaxon Burge, a 3rd-grader at Cameron Elementary School in Marshall County.
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