Praying hands

March of Prayer will include nightly prayer and worship services around Mansfield, starting March 1.

MANSFIELD -- Richland County's March of Prayer will kick off its third year of nightly worship and prayer services on March 1. 

Services will be held in-person and also be live-streamed on the Godsfield Facebook page. Each service will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. with the exception of the final one, a sunrise Easter service on April 4.

More than 25 churches and organizations are hosting this year. Each service will consist of worship and prayer with the themes “Mansfield is Godsfield” and “Richland is God’s Land.”  

“This is an opportunity for people to enter one another’s houses of worship and pray for all that is on the heart,” said the Rev. Paul Lintern, coordinator. 

Lintern co-founded March of Prayer in 2019 with Jordon Baker. It was meant to be a one-time, month-long event, but it grew into something more. The 31 days ended up stretching to 49 evenings until Easter.

“Last year, we were set to go 65 days, all the way to the National Day of Prayer, and we did, although the last 45 days were online because of the COVID outbreak," Lintern said.

"What we ended up doing was having about a dozen people who rotated from their living rooms doing two-hour services. And people would watch from their living rooms.”

Perhaps the most unique aspect of March of Prayer has been the diversity of congregations and denominations that get involved.

In its first year, churches from 25 denominations were involved, Lintern said.

"It wasn't an ecumenical thing, it was let every church do it in a way that's authentic to itself," he said.

"We had Pentecostal churches leading Pentecostal services, we had a couple of silent services, we had liturgical services. Sometimes a pipe organ, oftentimes a praise band, sometimes a hammered dulcimer. We had a variety of styles and people went place to place.”

Many worshippers have enjoyed experiencing a diversity of church traditions, including Lintern himself.

“Churches think they're so very different from one another, but that common bond of worshipping Jesus Christ makes so many of the walls come down," he said. 

“Every night I'd go to a new church building and it'd become a new church home. That’s how it works in the kingdom -- or how it's supposed to.”

This year, each worship site will operate according to its own health and safety policies, but that appropriate precautions will be taken, Lintern said.

The 2021 March of Prayer schedule is listed below. Services are in Mansfield unless indicated otherwise. 

Monday, March 1 — Sar Shalom, 2510 W. Fourth St.

Tuesday, March 2 — Upper Room, 309 Park Ave. W. 

Wednesday, March 3 — Potter’s House, 374 Willowood Dr. E

 Thursday, March 4 — The ARC, 378 PAW.

Friday, March 5 — St. Peter’s Catholic, 60 S. Mulberry St.

Saturday, March 6 — Point of Grace, 2 Marion Ave. 

Sunday, March 7 — Church Requel, 2 Marion Ave.

Monday, March 8 — Holy Trinity Lutheran, 575 W. Cook Rd.

Tuesday, March 9 — Point of Grace, 2 Marion Ave. 

Wednesday, March 10 — BibleWalk Museum, 500 Tingley.

Thursday, March 11 — The ARC, 378 PAW.

Friday, March 12 — Four-Square Gospel, 393 Davidson.

Saturday, March 13 — Point of Grace, 2 Marion Ave.

Sunday, March 14 — Journey Life, 2578 Springmill Rd.

Monday, March 15 — Grace Fellowship, 365 Straub Rd. E. 

Tuesday, March 16 — Kingdom Grace Fellowship, 105 Reba.

Wednesday, March 17 — Open Bible, 1150 Rayfield. 

Thursday, March 18 — The ARC, 378 PAW.

Friday, March 19 -- Fusion, 220 Industrial Dr., Lexington.

Saturday, March 20 — Ontario United Methodist, 3540 PAW.

Sunday, March 21 — Belmont Community, 1119 Belmont Ave.

Monday, March 22 — Point of Grace, 2 Marion Ave.

Tuesday, March 23 — Grace Point (GPS), 36 Eagle Dr. Lex.

Wednesday, March 24 — Point of Grace, 2 Marion Ave. 

Thursday, March 25 — The ARC, 378 PAW.

Friday, March 26 — Clay Memorial, Bowman and Amoy E. 

Saturday, March 27 — Fusion Madison, 1400 Paradise View.

Sunday, March 28 — BibleWalk Museum, 500 Tingley Ave.

Monday, March 29 — First Christian, 200 W. Third St.

Tuesday, March 30 — Awake Church, 3616 St. Rte. 39, Shelby. 

Wednesday, March 31 — The MAC, 291 W. Cook Rd. 

Thursday, April 1 — Southside Christian, 2055 Mid-Bellville.

Friday, April 2 — Oakland Lutheran, 2045 Olivesburg Rd. 

Saturday, April 3 — First E. Lutheran, 53, PAW 8:30 p.m. 

Sunday, April 4 — Kingwood Center, 7 a.m.

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie.ellington@richlandsource.com