by Susan Mikula Campbell
Wheatfield's annual recognition of National Day of Prayer has grown into two special events on Thursday, May 3.
•A "Community Day of Prayer" event will begin at noon at the Town of Wheatfield Community Center, 2800 Church Road. The program, titled "One Nation Under God," will last approximately 30 minutes.
This event will be coordinated by the Rev. Bob Heisner, director of the Project Future Center of WNY; the Rev. Bruce Gamaché, pastor of St. Peter's Lutheran Church of Sanborn; Jonathan Haseley, associate in ministry from St. Peter's Lutheran Church of Sanborn; and Cal Kern, owner of the Niagara Power collegiate baseball team.
•Evangelist, author and former Navy SEAL, U.S. Navy Commander Michael H. Imhof (Ret.) will be the guest speaker at a Faith and Action Rally beginning at 6:30 p.m. at American Legion Post 1451, 6525 Ward Road, Sanborn.
According to Heisner, who is coordinating this new event, activities will include special music, a demonstration by the Project Future Youth Martial Arts Demo Team and the speech by Imhof.
Born in Fort Bragg, N.C., Imhof was raised in Blasdell. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University College at Buffalo, he was commissioned in 1973. As a SEAL and Navy officer, he served throughout the world in various positions. In 1981, he was hijacked in southern Lebanon while on duty with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and believes his later escape was truly a blessing of God.
He also recently was embedded with the U.S. Army as a civilian mentor in the training of Afghanistan National Army soldiers in support of Department of Defense operations.
Imhof is the author of five Christian books. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he said he uses his unique background and many experiences in encouraging, edifying and inspiring others in the things of God.
"We are both pleased and excited about Commander Mike Imhof being with us for this event, and look forward to what this decorated veteran, now serving in Christian evangelism, has to share with us," Heisner said.
Organizers emphasize that everyone is welcome at both events.
"We would like to personally invite all veterans, in addition to any members of the community who desire to come together and reaffirm the vital importance of prayer and active faith in our community and country today," Heisner said.
National Day of Prayer's history dates back to 1952 and a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Harry Truman, that declared an annual national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of May.
"In view of events going on in America and the world today, there is no better event to have than a community day of prayer," Heisner said.
For more information on the local event, call Project Future at 716-694-9571. For more information on Imhof, go to www.michaelimhofministries.org.