TEMPLE, Texas — After a tumultuous year in 2020, the mayors of Temple and Belton gathered local government officials and civic leaders Sunday to pray for guidance and providence in 2021.
School superintendents, police chiefs and other representatives from both sides of the Leon River shared scriptures and led prayers, asking for healing, guidance and leadership during the New Year.
"As a Christian, I always lean on God for his guidance and Providence," Temple Mayor Tim Davis said. "And as a community leader I do the same thing."
The mayors of both towns have hosted the event yearly for more than half a decade, but this year, the need for prayer is even more evident.
In 2020, Temple saw a 102 percent increase in stolen vehicles. Unemployment in Bell County rose significantly over seven percent, and the number of COVID-19 cases in the county continues to rise at a rapid pace.
"As a believer, it's always important, especially during these tough times that we lean on God's good guidance," Davis said.
During his prayer for the city's leadership, Davis compared their work to the biblical allegory of wine skins. He claimed city leaders need to be flexible and ready for new challenges.
"What encourages me whenever we all gather up and have a day of prayer is that hopefully we're all focused on the bigger things," Davis said.
Donna Dunn, the director of the Body of Christ Clinic in Belton, said a prayer dedicated to frontline workers and others fighting the global pandemic.
"It is such a blessing especially this year, given everything going on right now, to see the communities come together and pray and support each other," Dunn said.
Leaders from both Belton and Temple say they are thankful for opportunities like the event Sunday. They hope it will promote even more unity between the two cities moving forward.