Ladies on a mission

By LEA RIZZO, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 11/14/17

DORA — A group of grandmothers are working to support and encourage local teachers and students through prayer as well as deeds.

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Ladies on a mission


DORA — A group of grandmothers are working to support and encourage local teachers and students through prayer as well as deeds.

Sharon Black, founder of the Praying Gs, said she was inspired to start such a group by a picture she took at a Prayer Walk for Dora High School in 2015. She was taking pictures of the event and “one of the pictures was of three grandmothers who have grandchildren who attend Dora,” Black explained. “As I was taking the picture, the thought came to me — usually in many of life’s situations, there’s a grandmother praying somewhere.”

The Praying Gs officially got its start in September 2015.

The basis for the group is Proverbs 3:5-6, which states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways obey Him, then He will make your paths smooth and straight.”

Black describes the Praying Gs, not as a social club, but rather “ladies on a mission to pray and to show love and care for the students and teachers.

“We’re believing in God to send students from [the area] who will make a remarkable difference in our world,” she continued. The group is made of women from different churches who come together to pray and serve Dora High School.

In addition to praying over teachers at Dora, the Praying Gs also pray for the staff at Sumiton Christian, Sumiton Elementary and Middle schools, Bagley and Corner, as well as the rest of the schools in Walker County.

Among other things, the Praying Gs have sponsored school supply drives, provided meals for teachers and supported students during the student-led See You at the Pole rallies, according to Dora High Principal Paige Abner. The group formed during her first year as principal at Dora.

“I cannot speak highly enough about what that group has brought to this school, in terms of their support and influence,” she added. “Their influence has gone far and wide in terms of the support and encouragement they’ve given.”

The group especially takes care to provide meals during certain times of year. Black said they like to serve breakfast and lunch during Teacher Appreciation Week in May. Later this month, they will also be providing a Thanksgiving meal to the teachers.

To encourage students, members of the group will greet kids on the first day of school, which Black said has seen a great response, and prepare Christmas treats for Dora faculty and staff.

The inspiration for the name of the group came from Black’s own grandchildren, who call her GiGi. From there, the name was shortened from Praying Grandmothers to Praying Gs.

“We are praying and encouraging other women and men to step up and adopt a school,” Black said. “We’re praying they can build a relationship with school administrators and pray for and serve a school. It just takes people stepping up and saying yes to make a difference in students’ and teachers’ lives.”

For more information about Praying Gs, contact Dora High School at 205-648-6863.