CHARLESTON, W.V.—As of December 2021, West Virginia had lost over 5,000 citizens to the coronavirus. On Dec. 23, Governor Jim Justice brought together religious leaders to participate in a virtual service to honor those who had died and to pray for their families and the state going forward. He proclaimed the 23rd a Day of Prayer and Hope.
Dr. Dan Anderson, president of Appalachian Bible College, was among the participating religious leaders. Gov. Justice introduced Anderson, who was present in person, as “a great friend and a scholar beyond belief.” Anderson commended the governor for his leadership and his example of turning to God in prayer. Before Anderson prayed, he spoke on the meaning of Christmas and West Virginians’ hope “because of the coming of Jesus.”
In his book, Biblical Slave Leadership, Dr. Anderson writes that “success is founded upon the recognition that a person’s basic worth and identity do not depend on an external or superficial evaluation. Rather, each person has infinite and lasting value and significance because he is made in God’s image. Every individual has Providentially assigned merit that cannot be altered or enhanced by the assessment of others. This inherent value is a stewardship from God. It can never be diminished by the circumstance of life.”
The Day of Prayer and Hope recognized “the basic worth and identity” of each West Virginian and offered not just hope but also comfort. As well as praying for the families who lost loved ones to the coronavirus, Dr. Anderson prayed for the young people who participated in the service, asking that they would appreciate living in a state “that is concerned about their best” and asking God to bless the governor, other leaders, and the people of West Virginia.