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ST. GEORGE — For its 19th consecutive year, the annual Prayer the City event brought various faith traditions together in unity on New Year’s Day to offer supplications to a higher power on behalf of the community they all love and call home.


Rev. Jimi Kestin of Solomon’s Porch Foursquare Fellowship, shares a prayer at the 2024 Prayer Over the City interfaith event in St. George, Utah, Jan. 1, 2024 

“We can say we have truly found the answer to unity that does not require uniformity of thought and its really two simple words – respect and love,” Rev. Jimi Kestin, of Solomon’s Porch Foursquare Fellowship, told St. George News. “If we respect each others’ differences and we love unconditionally … then we can find areas to cooperate and not worry about the places we wouldn’t.”

Rickine Kestin was one of the founding member of Prayer over the City when it started New Year’s Day in 2006. At the time, the event was held between the leaders of different Christian faiths and held outdoors in Pioneer Park. Since then, it has grown to include several diverse faith traditions including Judaism, Buddhism, the Baha’i faith, Islam and others.

As the event grew it also moved indoors and found a home in the St. George Tabernacle, which is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Except for the times when renovations to the building were being completed and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Prayer Over the City has been held in the building for the majority of its 18 years.

Prayers and messages related to asking God to safeguard and support the city’s first responders, as well as school teachers and the students they educate. Calls for daily acts of kindness and being less judgmental were made along with an appeal of support for Israel and world peace.


At a time when it feels like the world is burning and people seem to focus more on differences and division in their beliefs, Kestin said the St. George area and its faith communities are presenting a better image than any other place in the country, and perhaps even the world, of what community should look like.

“We can stand together in unity that does not require uniformity of thought,” Kestin repeated. “There are many representatives on this panel whose philosophy and doctrine is radically different from my own. I don’t have to agree with it. I don’t have to support it. I certainly don’t have to endorse it, but I can respect it – and that’s the secret to Prayer Over the City.”


Founded in 2005, Solomon’s Porch Foursquare Fellowship (St. George Central Foursquare Church) has woven itself into the fabric of its community in St. George, Utah, which has a higher percentage Latter-Day Saints (LDS) population than Salt Lake City, the state capital. The way they have impacted St. George demonstrates very well Foursquare's missional objective of church and community transformation.

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