Blessings Abound in Destin: 12th Annual Blessing of the Marketplace

Savannah Vasquez
Pastor Eric Partin of Shoreline church leads a prayer for a group of residents of mixed industries.

The 12th Annual Blessing of the Marketplace was a happening event Wednesday as more than 400 people came out to participate at Destin United Methodist Church. Destin residents from all work industries and walks of life were invited to take part in the faith-based event as 18 of Destin’s senior pastors stood ready to pray blessings over the city.  

Mayor Mel Ponder introduced the event hailing it as “family reunion day.”

“What a great occasion when all of the people of Destin from all industries get together to recognize where our blessings come from,” Ponder said. “I’m encouraged when a body comes together and I’m expectant.”

This year’s keynote speaker, former governor of Texas, Rick Perry received a warm welcome as he spoke on the topic of second chances.

“The luckiest little fishing village in the world? I don’t buy it.”  he questioned at the beginning of his speech.

After an audible gasp from the crowd, Perry continued, “It’s about hard work, and God’s grace, it has nothing to do with luck.”

Comparing Florida’s growth to his own work while governor of Texas, Perry said competition is definitely high between the two southern states.

“You are wise to seek God’s blessing,” he said. “This is the individual who turned water into wine…why would he not, if asked, allow this city, this area to prosper, and that is what this day is all about.”

After Perry’s speech, Mayor Ponder presented the 18 local pastors and assigned each with a group of community leaders to pray over. Among those represented were the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Office, the Destin Fire District, City of Destin staff and council members, members of The Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, Okaloosa County School District principals, Okaloosa County and TDC members, and Military members.

After the prayers Captain Mike Parker, who helped found the Blessing of the Marketplace event thanked the community.

“With unity you can do so much more,” he said. “Y’all bless us and we (The Church of Destin) want to bless you back.” 

For more photos of the event CLICK HERE