By Mark S. Mirza
CARTERSVILLE — For more than eight years David Franklin has served as an associational missionary in Cartersville, leading Bartow Baptist Association. He formerly served as pastor of Mabel White Baptist Church in Macon. David comes from a family of strong intercessors, so it surprises no one that as the associational missionary in the Cartersville area he has been instrumental in organizing coalitions of prayers throughout that county.
Franklin’s influence has manifested itself in numerous ways, including his ability to organize first responders to provide disaster relief for the victims of the 2009 Tornado that swept through that area. His leadership in responding to the challenge of that disaster attracted the attention of state officials who called on him and his coalition of churches to provide leadership for the tornado that struck the same area the following year.
However, his influence has not been limited to organizing disaster relief responsibilities in North Georgia, Franklin has also become the new State coordinator for the National Day of Prayer (NDP).
Recently I had the privilege of spending the day with him in downtown Atlanta at the Franklin Graham event, Decision America. He and chief Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief who was dismissed for a Christian book he wrote, spent most of the event together. And then as the NDP Team got together for a luncheon meeting Franklin engaged Ron Culver, the personal assistant for Georgia Schools Superintendent Richard Woods, in a conversation that resulted in us praying together in his office.
When we arrived in the superintendent’s office he was in a meeting elsewhere but Culver gave us permission to enter the office and pray. David got onto his knees and then we all, in turn, prayed for Dr. Woods. Shortly before David concluded our prayer time Superintendent Woods walked in and heard a passionate prayer offered up on his behalf. Franklin did not know that Woods had entered the room and continued to pray, moving to the Superintendent’s chair and offering up a fervent prayer for the man who oversees Georgia’s public school system. When David finished he stood up and saw Dr. Woods standing there. It was very moving for everyone, including Superintendent Woods, who left to wash his face from the tears he had shed.
Later in the day I asked David about his prayer heroes. He mentioned Avery Willis, Henry Blackaby, and T.W. Hunt as “men that I got to hang around early in my ministry. And now I have the opportunity to spend lots of time with Claude King and Doug Small.”
But David’s focus now, “among 500 other things,” he says, “is the National Day of Prayer on May 5th, encouraging churches to tell the story of George Washington’s Other Flag in our churches on May 1st, and then encouraging churches statewide to do Solemn Assemblies on 9/11, since September 11 happens to be a Sunday this year.”
The National Day of Prayer is held the first Thursday in May every year and he asks, “If you are participating in any capacity please let me know about your event.”
When I asked him about September 11th he reminded me that it would be a great day to focus on prayer.
David commented, “Mark, this is a really a big deal this year and pastors are going to be spending a lot of time thinking about how we can encourage our people to pray. I really think we can help them by encouraging a ‘Solemn Assembly’ on that date. Our salvation isn’t in Washington, we all know this, but we act like it is. If I can do anything, I really want the pastors to take their people through A Solemn Assembly. Peter tells us that judgment begins in the Church House, not the White House.
George Washington’s flag
“That is where George Washington’s ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag comes in – the week before the National Day of Prayer.
“The story of George Washington’s Appeal to Heaven Flag is a splendid way for us to go into the National Day of Prayer, and I’d like to see churches all over the state take up this mantle and share it in a quick 3-minute message on May 1st.
When David tells the significance of the flag, “and the burying of the hatchet” as he likes to add, his face lights up and he gets animated. In fact, instead of me telling you the story, that he tells, listen to him tell you the story
To say the least, David love to pray, but he is also passionate about encouraging others to pray.
Mark Mirza is founder of Common Thread Ministries.