About 20 individuals gathered at the town hall on May 1 to pray for an hour. In the process, they publicly acknowledged God as their creator and Christ as their Redeemer. They prayed for their community’s elected officials on every level to come to know Christ as Savior and make God-honoring decisions. And they prayed for issues near to their hearts, like the sanctity of life and marriage, and loved ones serving in the police, military, and on the mission field.
“We have a really good relationship with our township, and we have been praying for and with them for years,” says Pastor Mike Dellaperute.
“Three years ago when we applied for a permit to add on to our building (building anything in New Jersey is a hassle), we went before our township committee. Surprisingly, they basically made our case for us, talking about how we distribute free food and clothes to needy families and run programs after school for kids and teens. They were referring to our food pantry and clothes closet, which also shares the gospel of Christ with every visitor, and our Awana and youth programs, which are both Christ centered. Several members even showed up at the ground-breaking to support us.
“Our heart’s desire is to see our community, including its leaders, acknowledge Christ as Lord. Ultimately, that is why we elected to do this event. So when we applied for the permit to pray publicly (we did request their permission to do this, and I’d recommend anyone planning an event like this get permission first), the township simply asked that we keep the sidewalks clear and behave respectfully toward others (which were not unreasonable requests). But they were happy to have ‘the Baptist church’ come and pray again.”