Bringing out the Best: Local pastors come together for Holy Thursday online prayer service

Local ministers gather for “One Cry Cullman.” Front row, left to right: John and Tiffany Richter, Keith Warden, Jason Murphree, Kip Potter; back row, left to right: Tom Richter, Chuck Johnston, Andy Heis. (Photo courtesy of Keith Warden, Northbrook Baptist Church)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Pastors and other ministers from across the Cullman community on Thursday will host “One Cry Cullman,” an online prayer event to mark Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday, Christianity’s traditionally recognized night of the Last Supper.

Northbrook Baptist Church Pastor Keith Warden told The Tribune, “It’s several of our pastors that were able to just get connected during all of this and wanted to come together to pray over our community and just stand with one another through all this.”

The event’s hosts include Warden and other local pastors John Richter of St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church, Tom Richter of First Baptist Church Cullman, Andy Heis of Desperation Church, Jason Murphree of Crosshaven Church and Kip Potter of Daystar Church.

The service will be broadcast via each church’s regular online platform at 6 p.m. Thursday. If you watch livestreamed services or Bible study videos from any one of these churches, simply access Thursday’s event the same way.

The Tribune asked Warden for his opinion on the state of faith in the Cullman area in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Warden responded, “I think that it’s been strengthened, because- we talk about this all the time as a body of believers- that the way that our faith is strengthened is through seasons of testing and through seasons of trial. And what we’ve been seeing in our people here at Northbrook, and I know even as I’ve talked with other pastors and connected with other churches, is the Church stepping up and leaning into this challenge, and finding ways to connect with people, finding ways to serve.

“You know, you have to be a church that’s really focused and really connected and committed to continue thriving during a time like this when you can’t depend on a common location and all those kinds of things that are luxuries. We might not be the Church meeting in one place, but we are the Church that’s scattered throughout the community.

“I’ve just been so blessed. We’ve had a lot of our people this week that have been recording their testimony and posting it on their Facebook page, on their social media. This Sunday, our Easter celebration is under the theme “In my place,” and so you can get on Facebook right now and look at that hashtag “In my place,” and you’ll find literally just dozens and dozens of testimonies of people that are talking about how Christ has changed their life and what He means to them. And so, that’s one of the few, if only, ways right now that you can really be a witness and talk about your relationship with God. And I’ve seen people being more vocal and more engaged in the last few weeks, maybe, than even before all this started.

“So, to answer your question, I would say definitely, I think that the status of faith of people that I’m seeing, through all of this, is that it’s really growing and being strengthened.”

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W.C. Mann