Those with the God Bless America “We Remember” Rally are getting ready for a three-day event that will honor first responders, active and veteran members of the military, pastors and educators.
The event begins on Friday, Sept. 10, and continues until Sunday, Sept. 12. It will be held at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center located at 200 Armory Drive in Beckley. Services begin at 7 p.m. each night, with additional services being held on Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m.
According to event organizer Evangelist Byron Foxx, this rally began as a way to tribute first responders and remember the events of 9/11.
“We noticed ten years ago that September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary, was going to be on a Sunday,” Foxx said. “So, in Charleston, about 40 to 45 churches worked together to have our very first God Bless America Rally.”
That first event was anticipated to be just a one time, one night only event, but that quickly changed. The rally has now been held in numerous locations including Charlotte, NC; Richmond, VA; and in Tennessee.
“We are so happy to be in Beckley, West Virginia, this time,” Foxx stated. It is the first time the event has been held in the city, and it has been sponsored by about 40 local churches.
Each day of the event will feature a different theme. On Friday evening, first responders will be honored.
“You know, twenty years ago when we were attacked, Americans, by and large, were not familiar with the expression first responder,” Foxx said. “When we were attacked, we became acutely aware of ‘first responder.’”
On Saturday evening, current and former members of the military will be honored, and on Sunday, educators and pastors will be honored, Foxx continued.
“Each evening we will have testimony,” Foxx said. “On Friday evening Gov. Jim Justice will give a word of greeting and on Saturday Colonel Fisher will be with us and on Sunday night we have a retired local pastor who has pastored his entire ministry in West Virginia to give testimony.”
In addition to testimony, there will be singing, music and much more.
“It really is a God and Country meeting which is so appropriate here in Beckley,” Foxx said. “Beckley is part of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. We still love our country and we understand we need God.”
Local Evangelist Scott Pauley, who has been likened as a young version of Billy Graham, will speak each night, Foxx added.
Bruce Frye, who once appeared on Matlock with Andy Griffith, will be in attendance as well as the Calvary Quartet.
For those who cannot attend the event in person, it will be webcast live at godblessamericarally.com.
Over the course of 10 years, Foxx said that he has had many unforgettable moments from each rally, but one of his proudest moments came when the Tuskegee Airmen and the Montford Point Marines were honored in Hampton, VA.
“They were all older at that point, but it was fantastic to be able to honor them,” Foxx recalled. He added that he enjoys watching all those who attend the rallies, their patriotism and the goodness of America.
“I hear people talking about how bad America is, well, I have been around the world,” Foxx noted. “I have been in China. I have been in the Philippines. I have been in Romania. There is no place in the world like America. I love everybody in the whole world, but the freedom in America, the blessings of God on America and the patriotism in these meetings is tremendous.”
One of the most touching moments at each rally is when a singing group begins their a cappella version of “Amazing Grace” Foxx said. “It is moving.”
Foxx also added that the event is not going to be political.
“We don’t bash any politicians at this event,” Foxx added. “We can do that some other time, but that is not what this is. This is a day where we are not Democrats or Republicans. We are all Americans at this event.”
No registration is required for the event and it is free to the public.