Breanna Smith

West Baton Rouge citizens, church leaders and elected officials came together to lift the community up in prayer Thursday, May 3 at the Port Allen Community Center. For more years than can be recalled, The God’s Children Ministries Worship Center Church has hosted National Day of Prayer.

Apostle Ethel Veal offers up songs of praise. Behind her are Parish President Riley “PeeWee” Berthelot, Port Allen Mayor Richard Lee, Pastor Butch LaBauve, Pastor Warren LeJeune, and Jonathan Veal.

Pastor Calvin Veal, Sr. began the tradition of celebrating National Prayer Day on the West Side many years ago. Calvin Veal, Sr. passed away October 18, 2017, but his family, both biological and church, carried the tradition into 2018 and only have plans of growing the event.

Parish President Riley “PeeWee” Berthelot has become a mainstay, attending and supporting the event each year, Pastor Calvin Veal Jr. said.

Since the early 2000s, the event has been held at a city facility, which has helped the event grow to something the community now calls its own, Pastor Calvin Veal Jr. said.

“There’s always an appreciation from our family and church family to support his [Pastor Calvin Veal, Sr.] vision and pull everyone together in the community and make sure West Baton Rouge knew he loved them and wanted everyone to know we could do anything for the community to bring support and unity.”

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