A sign from God spawns military prayer service


First Posted: 8/6/2014

Jennifer Johnson had a sign for God that she should organize a prayer service for military personnel. As she and her husband have welcomed members of the Dallas Baptist Church into their homes for the past three months, the idea to specifically pray for troops came to her.

It was that idea that brought about the church’s U.S. Military Hour of Prayer, attended by approximately 60 people at the church on Aug. 2.

The event, held to pray for the country and for those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, was held under a large tent in front of the church and was visible from Highway 415. Those in attendance were encouraged to bring names, photos and other memorabilia of those currently serving in the military. Those unable to attend but who wanted to participate were encouraged to phone in prayer requests or submit those requests through e-mail via the church website. There was no charge to participate in the event and all denominations were welcomed.

A voluntary love offering was collected and all proceeds will benefit “Operation Heal Our Patriots,” currently sponsored through Samaritan’s Purse.

Rich Ursiak, a member of the church since 1979, said the weekly prayer group at the Johnsons’ home “prays for the community, for people in need and for the un-churched.”

Members Bev and Stan Kardish, of Dallas, added musical accompaniment to the military prayer service with their six-member praise band For His Glory. Bev was on vocals, while Stan played acoustic guitar and drums, just two of the several instrument he plays, which also include mandolin, accordion and keyboard.

Darlene Kupstas , of Huntsville, has been a member of the church for the past five years. She is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served for 23 years, including service in Desert Storm. Her father served in the Korean War and she has six siblings, all whom have served in the military. Her daughter, Christina Lambacher, is currently serving in the Intelligence Division in Fort Gordon, Ga. Kupstas was in attendance of the service “to support our troops” through prayer.

Pastor Jerry Branch came to the Dallas Baptist Church nine-and-a-half years ago from First Baptist Church in Channelview, Texas, a suburb of Houston. He is hoping the “hour of prayer” will be held again next year. He also said church members “look for what God wants us to do” and Jennifer’s idea for the prayer service is an example.

Church member and public relations representative Alyssa Lewandowski said that “prayer is the most powerful tool that we have.” Lewandowski also said that an ice cream social held after the prayer service was important for the members to “get to know others they can relate to,” others who may have loved ones serving or who have served in the military.

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