CARYVILLE, TN – Residents of southern and eastern Kentucky are invited to participate in a unique and massive prayer walk on Saturday, November 8.
Sponsored by the Stand in the Gap Coalition (SIGCO) – whose mission is similar to the anti-drug organization Operation UNITE in Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District – the “Stand At The Cross” prayer walk will take place at noon just off I-75 Exit 141 near Caryville, Tenn. This is where one of Jim Potter’s 100-foot crosses welcomes travelers entering the state.
SIGCO has chapters representing Bell County in southern Kentucky, Lee County in far southwest Virginia, and nine East Tennessee counties – including the border counties of Fentress, Scott, Campbell, Claiborne, Hancock and Hawkins.
Churches of all denominations are coming together to ask God’s help to eradicate the scourge of alcohol and other drug abuse and family violence within the region.
Independently, small prayer groups of the parents and friends of those addicted have outgrown places they meet. There are prayer walks around courthouses, justice centers, on school property at night, and other unusual places.
Spurred by a prayer revival that brought transformation to Clay County, Kentucky, drawing a film crew from Washington state that created a documentary called “An Appalachian Dawn,” the prayer movement has grown, and so have its results.
SIGCO was formed in 2011 and planned a large prayer walk, where an estimated 8,000 people from Kentucky, Virginia and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee converged at Cumberland Gap. Prayers and testimonies were heard from recovered addicts who now have their lives under control.
In 2012, representatives from nine counties began to meet regularly under the regional banner of the Stand in the Gap Coalition. While some smaller prayer walks and events took place throughout the year, on November 4, 2012, an estimated 20,000 people walked through seven towns supported by neighboring counties that didn’t plan walks.
“There has never been a more important time in our nation, and specifically our Tri-State area, for Christians and concerned citizens to take a stand against illicit/illegal drug abuse,” said Dan Spurlock, spokesman for SIGCO, headquartered in Cumberland Gap.
“We are literally watching generations of our families waste away to dangerous and life-threatening drugs,” Spurlock continued. “Great-grandparents are raising children as the child’s parents and grandparents are lost to drug and alcohol abuse.”
The November “Stand At The Cross” prayer walk will be the first since 2012, but SIGCO advocates have been busy building support and involvement in their communities. Since the beginning of the prayer efforts, drug recovery programs are cropping up all over, Drug Courts are beginning to be accepted addictions to each county’s justice system, and unified efforts are taking place to find long-term recovery for those who are ready to find freedom from their addictions.
While traveling, Sprulock spotted the giant 100-foot cross, overshadowing I-75, and believed this site to be very significant for a future SIGCO event. He contacted Mr. Potter and obtained permission to use the area for a prayer walk.
Churches throughout southern Kentucky and East Tennessee, along with UNITE’s community coalitions, are urged to begin planning to bring vans, buses, and cars filled with members who can participate. Demonination isn’t important.
Just 200 years ago, a six-day revival was held in Kentucky that drew 20,000 people to a sparsely populated frontier area out of which a transformation took place that impacted the nation. Known as the Cain Ridge Revival of 1801, the historic event included historic frontiersman Daniel Boone as one of its organizers. Many pastors believe it is time to see that kind of change take place once again.
For more information about “Stand At The Cross” or SIGCO, visit their website at www.SIGCO.org, call their office at 423-300-1302, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.