By Crystal J. Damron
March 20, 2013 — In September 2007 more than 3,000 concerned Carter County citizens held a rally in the streets of Grayson to take up arms in the war on drugs which had spilled over onto the doorstep of their small community.
Sadly, turning the tides against an unyielding foe is a slow process. Grayson Freewill Baptist Church Pastor Jim Varney is the first admit things have not go as well as planned since then.
Varney said there have been several positive changes in the past four years, but it has not been quite the massive change the group had hoped would come from their efforts.
In an effort to rekindle the fire, more than 60 concerned individuals, along with a dozen or so local pastors from multiple churches of varying domination, congregated on the campus of Carter Christian Academy to discuss the issue last Tuesday night.
New Beginnings Pastor Kyle Burchett said that the hope is “God will breath on those embers of the 2007 Enough Rally and reignite the passion for unity.”
Burchett went on to explain the goal is to “keep the momentum going and to establish fellowship among the body of Christ.”
The meeting is one of the first of what this group of pastors plan to turn into a monthly prayer meeting.
Pastor Scott Porter, one of the event's main organizers, said the first meeting was back in November.
Porter was proud to say “with just the handful we have seen participate so far we are already seeing change.” He is currently reaching out to other area pastors, hoping each event will grow in size.
Meetings will rotate locations between the east and west ends of the county each month, making it easier for more individuals to participate. The plans for April's location is still in the works.
During the Tuesday night meeting, the group was lead in multiple prayers by a handful of pastors and watched videos of transformation from around the world.
“Appalachia Dawn,” a documentary about transformation in Manchester, KY, seemed to get more attention in the room. Once known as the pill capital of Kentucky, Manchester is now known as the “City of Hope.”
One of the Manchester pastors, Doug Abner, has already made a trip to Grayson, where he spoke at New Beginnings and met with some tri-state preachers.
Abner was quick to say “one of the things we promised the Lord when he transformed Manchester was that we would help anyone, anywhere, anyway we can” in getting there transformation off and running.
With friends and ties to Carter County he is excited to help the area people take back their home town just like the residents of Clay County did in May 2004.
The over all theme of for Tuesday's meeting was a joining of forces and taking church outside the four walls of a building.
“This is not a battle any one church can win on its own, it will take the whole body of Christ coming together,” Burchett said. “Until we, the leaders of the church, make unity and prayer a priority in our lives and in our ministry this will not happen. But, if we do all speak the same language we will turn this world upside down.”
This fight is nowhere near over and the citizens of Carter County are ready to tackle it one hurdle at a time.
“We are surrounded by so many wonderful people, who are very busy in making a living and being great citizens, the very fact that over 70 people would take time out of their busy schedules to be part of an inter-denominational prayer efforts truly humbles me,” says Varney.
Local minister Terry Sexton added, “I was thrilled to see so many people of our community with the attitude to prayer for those hurting.”
Varney went on to add, “I trust that this is just the start of a great revival sweeping through this valley; much like the Wesleyan revival that swept through here in the early 1900's. The fellowship of so many outside the walls of church buildings testifies to the heart throb of those seeking to further the kingdom and see healing to our land.”