By MICHELLE GANASSI
Daily American Staff Writer, @damichelleg
5:41 PM EDT, May 2, 2013
Around 300 people came together to pray for America during the National Day of Prayer Thursday morning at the Somerset County Courthouse.
Retired Brig. Gen. Larry Powell of Stoystown served as the master of ceremonies. He said he was pleased with the turnout and with the weather.
"God gave us a glorious day and the people responded well," he said.
Several people offered prayers during the program on topics including life, marriage and family. Powell said the country needs prayer, healing and repentance.
"And that will start here in Somerset County," he said.
People who attended the ceremony said they were there not only to praise God, but to support the right to pray.
"I just think it was important to be able to have the right to pray in this country," Linda Lambert of Somerset said. "It is getting harder to do that. You need to show your support for that."
Chris Phillippi of Somerset said more people need to focus on God.
"Our country needs more God and less politics," he said.
Phillippi said he enjoyed the speakers' messages — and the fellowship.
"It's nice to have fellowship with other Christians," he said. "What other group of people would you want to spend the day with?"
Tracy Lepley of Boswell attended the event with a group of friends and her pastor.
"I just want to show the people in Somerset County that we are a Christian nation," she said.
Lepley said more people should participate.
"They are going to miss out on some good worshipping," she said.
Lambert said Somerset County is fortunate to have commissioners who allow the event to take place at the courthouse.
Somerset County Commissioner Joe Betta said the country is heading in the wrong direction.
"I'm pleased to have us launch an attack in the other direction," he said.
Betta also was pleased with the turnout.
"God bless their souls," he said.
U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Edgeworth, was in Somerset for several events Thursday. He changed his schedule when he heard about the prayer event.
"I appreciated the opportunity to join folks in Somerset this morning to pray for our troops, our first responders, our neighbors and our nation," he said.
The National Day of Prayer is held the first Thursday in May. It was created in 1952 and was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.