ARGILLITE Â- The Rev. Dave King, pastor of Argillite United Methodist Church, said area pastors run into many issues that need to be addressed, such as drugs and alcohol.
"We thought that we should confront the largest problems, and prayer is the strongest weapon for that confrontation."
King is part of a multi-denominational alliance of churches that have implemented a program called Praying Against Drugs and Alcohol. Members of the group commit to praying every evening at 9 about those issues and others that are important to the community.
"It isn't about pointing fingers," King said. "The Christian faith is about compassion and love, and we want to let people who have become addicted to alcohol or drugs know that there are people who care about what happens to them."
According to King, the group focuses on first raising awareness of the problem; once the problem is addressed, then solutions "and preventative measures" can be found.
King believes the area has improved its methods of dealing with many issues and said the drug court in Greenup County is doing well addressing the problems of abuse and trafficking in illegal narcotics. The group of which King and many other pastors and ministers are members have faith their prayers can help local officials, jail ministries and the individuals caught up in what they believe has become an epidemic.
"We see the media promoting the sale of alcohol, and that is really unfortunate," King said. "But the problem isn't really the alcohol; it's how it is used and who is using it."
In light of that, a major concern of the group is the use of alcohol and drugs by those who are underage, he said. It is of the highest priority, King said, to keep alcohol out of the hands of young people who could have their lives ruined before those lives had truly begun.
The phone number listed on the sign, (606) 836-0442, connects callers with the FADE Drug Task Force, where they can report drug activities or get information on where they or others they might know can get the help they need to deal with addiction.
Charles Romans writes for the (Ashland) Independent.