Local churches to pray for oil spill disaster, clean up

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 25, 2010

When the church doors open Sunday morning, local churches will take a moment to remember those affected by the Gulf Oil Spill.

Gov. Bob Riley declared Sun., June 27, as a day of prayer for the Gulf oil disaster, encouraging Alabamians to pray for the well-being of people who have been impacted by the BP oil disaster.

They will join churches and Alabama residents across the state in prayer for a quick solution to stop the oil leak that has spewed millions of gallons since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers.

“Citizens of Alabama are urged to pray for the well-being of our fellow citizens and our state, to pray for all those in other states who are hurt by this disaster, to pray for those who are working to respond to this crisis, and to pray that a solution that stops the oil leak is completed soon,” Riley said. “Throughout our history, Alabamians have humbly turned to God to ask for his blessings and to hold us steady during times of struggle. This is certainly one of those times.”

First Presbyterian Church pastor Dale Sallans said his church will definitely take part in the prayer.

“We will pray that people are given the wisdom to stop (the leak) and expedite the clean up,” he said. “We need to pray about what’s going to be happening in the future. We have no idea what kind of toxic stuff they are pouring in to try and stop the leak, or what the medical repercussions will be. We are going to have to put it in God’s hands and let him sort it out.”

Sallans said there are some members of the FPC who have condos or other beach rentals who have been impacted because they have had difficulty renting those to tourists.

River Falls Baptist Church pastor Carl Douglass said his church will participate as well.

“We would want to pray for people’s hearts, their livelihood and businesses,” he said. “The Lord uses a lot of things for different reasons. If this is a way to draw people back to him then we will pray for Glory to be brought back to him. He is a sovereign God and all things that happen are for his Glory.”

Greg Hart, Southside Baptist Church in Opp pastor, said they will pray “for some kind of quick end to the actual oil being released into the water, and parying for the people’s jobs that are being affected by the oil spill.We will also pray for the men who lost their lives when this all began,” he said.

Opp First Baptist Church interim pastor Wayne Sharpe said his church will participate because the event is a­­ “good thing for people all over the state to pray at a given time.”

“First Baptist Church Opp families have already been praying each day and this Sunday will be another day among many more that will follow,” he said. “It is a matter that affects many in our churches and communities of our area, state and region. We will continue to pray for all whose livelihoods that have been directly and indirectly impacted.”

Sharpe said the congregation would pray for wisdom for those in charge.

“Our prayer is that God with His infinite wisdom will give divine direction to those who are in responsible positions and that His directions will be heeded,” he said.

“A this time it is not who was to blame, or who has profited or who gets public acknowledgment, but a mater of public concern for people’s welfare. We do not hold nor have all the answers, but God does.”

Riley joined Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in declaring Sunday a day of prayer.

Experts say the current worst-case estimate of what’s spewing into the Gulf is about 2.5 million gallons a day from the blown well, polluting shorelines from Louisiana to Florida.

On Wednesday, scattered tar balls and blobs of weathered crude were again washing up on the sand of Alabama’s beaches from Orange Beach to Gulf Shores.