WEATHERFORD (CBSDFW.COM) – Ministers in Parker County have pledged support for bringing prayer and the pledge of allegiance back to city council meetings in Weatherford.
The Parker County Ministerial Alliance told the council this week it would schedule ministers for invocations at monthly meetings, if the council was open to having them.
The city may vote on the change as soon as June.
Prayer and the pledge are common before local council meetings. Dallas and Fort Worth have both. Weatherford, though, has struggled with the practice for more than 30 years, said city Mayor Dennis Hooks.
“I really don’t know why 30-something years ago that they took it out,” he said.
City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said there was an effort within the last year to re-institute prayer. The number of people from different faiths requesting to be included though, and the time some of them took at the podium, began to take away from the meetings.
Father Scott Wilson from All Saints Episcopal Church said ministers just became aware in the last few months that both practices were missing from city hall.
“There’s a vast majority of us who would want to see the prayer said and pledge said,” Wilson said Thursday. “That’s who we are.”
Wilson said ministers did not want their support to create a political fight. On Thursday, though, he had already received calls in opposition and said they were prepared for them.
“We will organize it,” he said. “We’ll keep it short, one person at a time. It’ll be representative of a religious community.”
Hooks said he already prays daily for himself and his family. He said he believes there is support among the city council for bringing it back to city meetings.
“As long as we can put that back into our council meetings and have it fair and equitable to every religion, I think that’d be great,” Hooks said.