Locals gathered at the Lincoln County courthouse Thursday morning to pray for their community and country as part of National Day of Prayer.
“I’m not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ,” Lincolnton resident Paula McSwain said after gathering for several minutes with the group in a prayer circle near the flag pole.
She desires for Christian believers, in particular, to showcase a “holy boldness” for their faith, and ultimately, better the country.
Iron Station resident Terry Whitman attended the event to not only “praise the Lord” but also to show support for rights he believes the federal government is casually eliminating.
“We all need to get to work,” he said. “Our freedom and rights are being taken away.”
Edith Pressley, of Lincolnton, expressed her hope for society’s morale to improve.
“I wish people would open their eyes more and reach out and help one another and stop this killing and stealing,” she said.
One of the event organizer’s Alan Hoyle, often seen traveling down local streets in a white pickup truck outfitted with Scripture verses and other faith-based illustrations, spoke strongly about his personal obligation to promote unequivocal truths and standards among the community and fight for his Second Amendment right, the right to bear arms.
He noted sin is the problem plaguing the country and not politicians or economics.
“The nation is in decay, and it’s the duty, right and privilege for American people to speak out,” Hoyle said.
While county officials gave the group permission to gather at the courthouse for the annual event, and have for at least the last decade, Hoyle said, police shut down their singing and music shortly after the event started, saying it was disturbing hearings in certain courtrooms.
Last month, Hoyle took his voice all the way to Washington, D.C., where United States capitol police arrested him for carrying a gun near the capitol building.
Hoyle said he had gone to the area to protest a Senate vote on gun restrictions.
His next court appearance on the charge is set for Tuesday.