Today is National Day of Prayer

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It was a perfect day to be outside for a prayer gathering today. The first Thursday each May is designated as ‘National Day of Prayer’ and prayer gatherings still took place here in South Mississippi, but the planned turnouts were much smaller to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Praying God’s Glory across the Earth, the world-wide theme for this year’s ‘National Day of Prayer,’ spoken into existence by this small, but powerful group of faith leaders Thursday.

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The mission: collective prayer. The location: Gulfport City Hall. The purpose here: to pray for our political leaders. Mississippi Prayer Coordinator for Aglow International Genendeal Fratantuono said, “This is the seat of government for the city of Gulfport. This is my home city. The seven spheres of influence. Government is major. So, church, government family, education, business, military and media. Those are called mountains, spheres of influence. They actually control our entire nation, those seven spheres of influence do.”

Wells of South Gate Director Angela Broussard said, “It’s not the first time that we’ve come to pray on the steps of City Hall. There is a swell, a groundswell of prayer being released throughout the earth. We’re small numbers here today physically, but make no mistake, more are with us that cannot be seen than those who are here with their presence here physically today.”

Needless to say, things are being handled a little bit differently this year in the wake of COVID-19 as local faith leaders are finding new and inventive ways to pray together in unison while also adhering to CDC guidelines and social distancing. “Technology has actually empowered the prayer movement beyond what it had already risen to. It’s made us connected as one globally.”

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!

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