Bell Co. football fans say Lord's Prayer during moment of silence

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

Bell County High School football fans wore shirts that said "Let Us Pray" and vowed to have their voices heard!

The tension had been building for some time and Friday night was the night for folks who wanted to hear prayer before Bell County High School's football game.

"When it first happened, it was chaos. Everybody talked about it," said Paige Estep.

Estep is a junior at Bell County High School. She said the controversy surrounding the pregame prayer has been the talk of the school for weeks.

It's also been the talk of the county.

"As a community wanting to stand up for what we believe and pray to God," said Rebekah Harris of Bell County.

A national foundation sent a letter to Bell County Schools in August telling them the pregame prayer was unconstitutional. State attorneys agreed and encouraged the district to stop praying over the loudspeaker.

"The prayer out of school and football games, it actually broke my heart," said Harris.

Those young and old showed up at the game sporting their "Let Us Pray" shirts. And when the time came for the moment of silence, the crowd spoke by saying the Lord's Prayer.

School leaders said there were no major issues, and they cannot control what those in the crowd may choose to do.

"We offered a moment of silence. It is within the constitutional rights of our school," said George Thompson, Bell Co. Schools Superintendent.

But many in the stands said they are proud of what they did and hope something good will come of it.

"Being able to come and be a part of standing up for the Lord's Prayer and saying it together, it was awesome," said Harris.

A number of people came only to say the prayer. Quite a few folks left the game right after kickoff.

This afternoon there were rumors that people would be at the game to protest the spontaneous prayer, but that did not happen.

There's no word on whether the crowd will continue to say the Lord's Prayer aloud during the moment of silence at future games.

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