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National Day of Prayer in Hazleton

HAZLETON, Pa. --  Every year on the first Thursday in May people all across the country celebrate the National Day of Prayer.

The city of Hazleton held their own event today.

"Unity brings strength," Pastor Rodney Murphy of the Faith Assembly of God Church. "Unity is what Christ preached and prayed for and today is our opportunity to help fulfill that."

Members from about a dozen churches in and around Hazleton held their own service at Freedom Park in the city.

"It takes a willingness for the area pastors to come together and say, 'Hey we have a bigger mission in mind to reach the city with the Gospel,'" Pastor Daniel Gonzalez of Restore Hazleton Church said.

The pastors tell Newswatch 16 this day is not only important to them so that they can pray for our country but so that they can pray for unity among all of the groups here in Hazleton and around the area.

"There's a lot of diversity in our community and the church embraces that and we want to continue to build the unity amongst, not only different cultures and races but different age groups, different levels of economic status... but also with different denominations," Murphy said.

Church members from as far as Weatherly attended.

"I really believe that Americans need to stand up and pray for our nation," Terry Gregg of Weatherly said. "We need to go back to what the founding fathers started us as and most of it is based on the Bible and good morality."

During the service, the pastors prayed for Hazleton's mayor and police chief who both attended the event.

"Everyone comes together at the park and spends a few minutes together reflecting on things that are important," Mayor Jeff Cusat said.