Back-to-School prayer event set for Sunday in Randolph County

ASHEBORO — Chuck Powers, founder of the Randolph Christian Men, would like to see a record turnout for Sunday’s Back-to-School Prayer Night.

At 5:30 p.m., gatherings are scheduled to begin at about 40 locations that are part of the Randolph County School System and Asheboro City Schools.

“We’ll have someone who will lead prayer at each of those facilities,” Powers said. “We’re asking the Lord to bless everyone involved in education.”

Turnout for last year’s Back-to-School Prayer Night was more than 500 based on reports Powers, an Asheboro man, received from his group’s members at the school locations.

“I think that’s a good number,” he said. “I really wish we could have more than that.”

Randolph Christian Men took over as organizers and sponsors of the non-denominational event in 2014. The annual prayer session coincides with the beginning of the school year in Randolph County. Classes start Monday at public schools in the county.

“We ask people to go to a local school of their choosing,” Powers said. “It’s a simple, one-night event.”

Attendance for the prayer night varies from school to school. Powers said more than 25 people might descend on some locations, while others might attract three or four.

Powers said the 5:30 p.m. time works better than in some past years when it began at 7 p.m. This way, Back-To-School Prayer Night shouldn’t conflict with Sunday evening church services.

Powers said attendees would generally spend about 20 minutes for the prayer events at the schools.

Even during the COVID pandemic, the Back-to-School Prayer Night was held in Randolph County, Powers said. He said the activity continued because it was outdoors and in small gatherings.

Randolph Christian Men has about 1,000 members in its database. The group meets monthly at a different church. Powers, who formed the organization in 2008, said the pre-COVID turnout was usually about 85 to 100 per month, though that’s down to about 55 in recent months.

By Bob Sutton