‘Freedom to be here’: Community takes to the field in a powerful display of public prayer

A North Carolina community told it couldn’t use a school football field’s PA system for a customary pre-game prayer went the school district one better:

They took to the field itself.

ncprayer1005That was the scene Friday when hundreds of students, players and community members locked hands and closed their eyes before saying the Lord’s Prayer en masse at Ledford High School in Thomasville, N.C.

According to local Fox affiliate WGHP, the demonstration was a response to the Davidson County Schools’ decision that using the PA system for a public prayer violated the separation of church and state.

The decision, which was to take effect on Friday, would have allowed the PA system to be used to announce a pre-game moment of silence, which would allow players and the crowd to pray if they choose.

For locals, that wasn’t good enough.

“Our parents and our students have the freedom to be here,” Pastor Mark Hollar of Abbot’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church, told the TV station. “And, they will pray.”

And pray they did as players, students, their families and the community as a whole gathered around the sidelines at Ledford High in a public display of unity for religious freedom.

Check out the WGHP report here.

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