The Longview Clergy Coalition recently held a prayer rally at the Gregg County Court House. St. Mary’s Catholic Church’s Father Gavin Vaverek offered up opening prayers followed by the Reverend Lewis Thompson, Jr. who read aloud relevant scripture and led in a prayer thanking Jesus for the cross and for His spiritual blessings.


Father Gavin Vaverek at the prayer rally – photo by Laura Christian

Others of the cloth followed suit as Dr. Mattie Thompson thanked Our Lord for her family, both good and bad times. Reverend Nate Bienhoff gave thanks for the roof over his head, his daily bread, the clothes on his back and every other blessing God has provided him. The Reverend Kemper Hubler returned thanks for our country, freedom of worship, our noble armed services, police and firefighters. The outpouring of gratitude just kept coming.

In addition, Reverend Jennene Laurinec expressed thanks for our public officials and for the blessings provided by our state, county and municipalities. Next came Reverend Lamar Jones as he thanked God for our churches and the friendship they create and share. Lastly, the whole assembly thanked those in attendance for the canned food they brought and donated for the pantry at Longview Community Ministries.

Furthermore, St. Mary’s School Principal Amy Allen explained the assembly – that the main reason for the rally is to bring together Longview’s many churches and its community of faith to celebrate what for and why they are thankful.

“Sometimes we think of all the needs in the community–providing shelter, food and other necessities, but this particular rally is about thanksgiving,” she said. “It is about how do we give thanks, how do we share our love with one another and recognize the unity and love between Christians so we can be thankful for what we have.”

St. Mary’s students were also present to witness this learning event.

“It is important for our students to come and see how other faiths celebrate Thanksgiving, and for the community to see that St. Mary’s is determined and committed to the faith community in Longview,” said Allen.

Story by Joycelyne Fadojutimi