More than a hundred people gathered at the Grace Baptist Church Amphitheater for the “Night of Prayer & Worship” event in which local pastors from churches throughout the Santa Clarita Valley led the audience in multiple prayers for government leaders on the local and national level along with members of the military, educators and health care workers.
Senior Pastor Stephen Jackson of Faith Community Church in Newhall said he and his fellow Santa Clarita pastors came up with the idea after President Joe Biden proclaimed May 5 as this year’s official National Day of Prayer.
After the proclamation, Jackson wanted to plan a big prayer event in which multiple pastors in the SCV area could come to one church and celebrate the day together.
“As Christians, we believe in the power of prayer,” Jackson said. “If our president makes a proclamation for us to do that then that’s an easy one for us to say, ‘yes’ to if that’s all you’re asking us to do.”
Jackson said he also believes prayer can bring people together in unity, which he had in mind when inviting multiple churches and pastors in the area to attend.
“[Prayer] is something that can bring everybody together,” Jackson said. “Not all the churches that are coming tonight are alike, but we can all agree that we care about this nation. We want to bless our leaders and we want to pray for them tonight.”
The Night of Prayer & Worship began with an introduction prayer from Pastor David Hegg of Grace Baptist Church. Hegg was joined by Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, and Joe Messina, president of the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board.
Hegg said he welcomes the idea of having five pastors from five different churches in one place because it “demonstrates unity amongst believers.”
“For people who take the Bible seriously and believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of all things, we’re all together in this,” Hegg said. “We’re all going to be in heaven together so we may as well get to know each other down here.”
Along with Jackson and Hegg, the pastors who led the attendees in prayers throughout the night included Rusty George of Real Life Church Valencia, Adam Tyson of Placerita Bible Church, and Jim Stitzinger of Crossroads Community Church.
In between prayers, a band made up of musicians from the different churches led everybody in different Christian worship songs throughout the event.
Jackson said he hopes everyone in attendance learns to turn to prayer before criticism when it comes to local and national political leaders.
“We’re all on the same team,” Jackson said. “There should be Christian unity across the board with our churches, and I hope seeing all of us work together will help accomplish that.”