POINT PLEASANT — Cloudy skies did not deter those who gathered for Mason County’s observance of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday at the county courthouse.
In addition to speakers, musical performances and prayers, the program included special presentations of the Erewanna Jefferies Outreach Award and the Rev. Paul J. Chapman Shepherd’s Recognition Award.
This year’s Erewanna Jefferies Outreach Award went to Oscar and Rhonda Click from Mt. Alto, for their “JESUS signs Outreach Ministry.” These signs are given free of charge to anyone who would like to display one. There are over 300 signs already distributed in Mason County and the couple are currently giving out their last purchase of 100 signs.
This year’s recipient of the Rev. Paul J. Chapman Shepherd’s Recognition Award was 96-year old Rev. Andrew Parsons. Rev. Parsons began his ministry in Logan County, West Virginia in 1947. In his 70 years of preaching, he pastored and established six churches in West Virginia. He also began a radio ministry in 1958 with the program “Back to the Cross.” He was an evangelist at this time, preaching nine straight years every night but three nights. He preached many tent revivals in the late 1950 and early 1960s.
In 1962 he moved to Gallipolis, Ohio and in 1970, established his 7th and final church, the Silver Memorial Church and continued his radio ministry. He named this church in remembrance of his fellow truck drivers who lost their lives with the collapse of the Silver Bridge. Mr. Parsons was the last truck to cross the bridge before it collapsed. He closed his radio ministry in 2012. At the age of 96 he still remains pastor of Silver Memorial Church and still knows the “true” foundation is “Jesus Christ our Lord.”
According to organizers of the Thursday’s event, Rev. Parsons was admitted to Holzer Hospital earlier in the week for health issues. Receiving the award in his honor on his behalf was his daughter, Peggy Yaugeer.
The observance in its entirety will be televised at 7 p.m. on Tuesday on WJOS TV.
Information for this article provided by Denise Bonecutter, local organizer of the National Day of Prayer in Mason County.