DAYTON — Kelly Metts and a group of women, primarily from New Union Baptist Church in Dayton, are serious about prayer.
Metts recalled the effort has been in the making for six years since she first felt God leading her to walk across Tennessee to pray.
A number of factors put her plans on hold for a few years before she looked at it again. When she did, she did not see how she could walk across the state, so it was put on the “back burner” once again. “The burden to do it never left,” she affirmed.
After discussing her desire with friends from her church, they came up with a plan to walk in every county seat in the state, Metts said.
Since March 18, the women have prayed in 20 county seats across the state — Rhea, McMinn, Meigs, Hamilton, Bradley, Polk, Roane, Loudon, Sequachie, Grundy, Marion, Monroe, Blount, Sevier, Bledsoe, Cumberland, Knox, Jefferson, Hamblen and Cocke.
While at the courthouse in each county seat, the women pray for government leaders, law enforcement and first responders, teachers and students, school administrators, churches and Christian leaders in the community and more, Metts said.
Metts’ desire is to pray in all 95 counties in Tennessee by year’s end if possible and no later than early next Spring, she said.
She admitted that her idea at first was met with skepticism about how such a daunting task could be accomplished. “They thought it was a good idea but they did not think it would ever happen,” she said.
“But I knew God laid this on my heart,” Metts said. “We just had to wait on the right timing and plans to carry it out.”
Approximately eight to 12 women (and occasionally a husband or two) travel every Saturday to three or four county seats in a general area and pray.
The group does not seek fanfare. For the most part, no one knows they are coming unless they know someone in a particular area, Metts said.
The women have had the opportunity to share with people they met while walking why they are there, she noted. She shared that two men who were cutting grass stopped and talked and prayed with the ladies. “One of them gave us $100 for gas. That was a real blessing.”
Metts said other people expressed appreciation for what they are doing. “One lady asked us if we could go and pray around her house. It’s been really good and rewarding,” she said.
Karen Knight, Women on Mission director at New Union, noted that Metts had this prayer ministry on her heart for some time and needed help with it. “We decided we would support this.” Knight said that the volunteers are primarily from the Women on Mission group, but anyone is welcome to join the group at future sites.
New Union pastor Jeremy Deal observed that seeing the women set aside space in their week to spend unhurried and unhindered time in prayer is encouraging.
“These women are a blessing to our church and our community and it will be good to see how the Lord continues to answer their prayers,” he said.
Overall, Metts has been pleased with the success of the prayer walks. “I feel like it’s going well and I have a good group of people who have come on board. They have been a real blessing.” B&R