A Knox County man and his family are planning a statewide campaign to get prayer back in the schools.
Organizer and Gray resident Verlan Brock will kick off the campaign with a “Ride To Frankfort” set to begin at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 1 beginning at the old John Rowland car lot on Log Mountain in Bell County. The convoy will travel north through Knox County on the way to Frankfort where it will end at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, where participants will honor all the soldiers for our freedom at a special ceremony set for 6 p.m.
Brock said everyone is invited to take part in the ride to honor our soldiers and renew the right for children to pray.
On Saturday, May 3, Brock will begin his “Let Our Children Pray Tour 2014” to get prayer back in schools with a special kickoff event at the Bell County High School at 3 p.m.
“Everyone is welcome to attend and speak if they wish,” he said.
Brock said the prayer campaign, which will feature a special mobile stage, decorated with the stars and stripes, will then travel to all 120 counties including Knox.
He said the events will be held each Saturday in a different county.
Brock said he believes the push to get prayer back in schools was divinely inspired.
“The Lord gave me the idea,” he said, noting that when he was growing up, children were allowed to pray openly. “Our children are without that today. They are required to pray silently in the classroom. Our children should have the right to pray anywhere they want to.”
Brock said his tour is not aimed at Kentucky leaders, but on a national level, adding that Kentucky has been more lenient than many states on the issue of prayer.
“Our people have been blessed by the people in Frankfort to let us pray,” he said.
Brock said he hopes that the statewide tour will help gain national attention, adding that it will be a grassroots movement in each community.
“At each county, we will set the stage up. My concept is to pull that stage up, set it up, have local pastors and anyone to open it up with prayer, and let individuals from that community speak,” he said. “This is for you, the people to be able to come on that stage and voice their support for prayer.”
He noted that many people want to voice their support, but don’t currently know how.
“We want to let everyone, regardless of where they work or who they are, to speak,” he said.
Brock said the trailer will be in a different county each Saturday at 3 p.m., adding that the tour will take an estimated two and a half years to complete. “We will do them, rain or shine, every Saturday,” he said.
Although the final details have not been worked out, Brock said he would like to come to Knox County right after the Bell County kickoff. “I’d love to come to Knox County next,” he said.
He noted that the tour stops will be filmed by a professional film crew.
Brock emphasized that this event is not about him, but about the people in the communities.
“Anyone who wants to speak can. If God touches their heart to preach or give their testimony, it’s their stage,” he said.