Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 19: Election Prayer Focus Mississippi

Mississippi - The Magnolia State

Motto: By Valor and Arms

Capital/Largest City: Jackson


Governor Haley Barbour (R)

Senator Thad Cochran (R)

Senator Trent Lott (R)

1. Travis Childers (D)
2. Bennie Thompson (D)
3. Charles Pickering (R)
4. Gene Taylor (D)

Prayer Points

*Declare revival comes to the state of Mississippi.

*Declare signs and wonders follow the preaching of the Word in Mississippi.

*Declare Christian media expands in the state of Mississippi.

*Declare leaders in Mississippi walk in wisdom and the fear of the Lord.

*Declare legislation in Mississippi is in accordance with the Word of God.

*Declare prosperity comes to the state of Mississippi.

*Declare strategies come to improve education in Mississippi.

*Declare protection over the people of Mississippi.

*Declare protection over the National Guard, military personnel, and military bases.

*Declare Christians in the state of Mississippi get out and vote.

*Declare an accurate accounting of the vote in Mississippi.

First explored for Spain by Hernando de Soto, who discovered the Mississippi River in 1540, the region was later claimed by France. In 1699, a French group under Sieur d'Iberville established the first permanent settlement near present-day Ocean Springs.
Great Britain took over the area in 1763 after the French and Indian Wars, ceding it to the U.S. in 1783 after the Revolution. Spain did not relinquish its claims until 1798, and in 1810 the U.S. annexed West Florida from Spain, including what is now southern Mississippi.
For a little more than one hundred years, from shortly after the state's founding through the Great Depression, cotton was the undisputed king of Mississippi's largely agrarian economy. Over the last half-century, however, Mississippi has diversified its economy by balancing agricultural output with increased industrial activity.
Today, agriculture continues as a major segment of the state's economy. For almost four decades soybeans occupied the most acreage, while cotton remained the largest cash crop. In 2001, however, more acres of cotton were planted than soybeans, and Mississippi jumped to second in the nation in cotton production (exceeded only by Texas). The state's farmlands also yield important harvests of corn, peanuts, pecans, rice, sugar cane, and sweet potatoes as well as poultry, eggs, meat animals, dairy products, feed crops, and horticultural crops. Mississippi remains the world's leading producer of pond-raised catfish. (

Until the 1930s, African Americans made up a majority of Mississippians. Due to the Great Migration, when more than 360,000 African Americans left the state during the 1940s and after for better economic opportunities in the northern and western states, Mississippi's African-American population declined. The state has the highest proportion of African Americans in the nation. Recently, the African-American percentage of population has begun to increase due mainly to a higher birth rate than the state average. Due to pattterns of settlement, in many of Mississippi's public school districts, a majority of students are of African descent. African Americans are the majority ethnic group in the northwestern Yazoo Delta, the southwestern and the central parts of the state, chiefly areas where the group owned land as farmers or worked on cotton plantations and farms. (

The hot climate and poor nutrition appear to contribute to problems with weight. For three years in a row, more than 30 percent of Mississippi's residents have been classified as obese. In the most recent study (2006), 22.8 percent of the state's children were classified as obese. Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity of any U.S. state. (

Gay and Lesbian Community
The United States Census in 2000 counted 4,774 same-sex couple households in Mississippi. Of these households, 41% contained at least one child. South Dakota and Utah were the only other states in which 40 percent or more of same-sex couple households had at least one child living in the household. Mississippi also has the largest percentage of African-American same-sex couples among total households. The state capital, Jackson, ranks number 10 in the nation in concentration of African-American same-sex couples. The state also ranks number 5 in the nation in the percentage of Hispanic same-sex couples among all Hispanic households and number 9 in the highest concentration of same-sex couples who are seniors.
In response to a murder and legislation including a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex couples in the state from marrying and adopting children, a statewide gay rights organization was formed in March 2000. Originally called Mississippi Gay Lobby, the organization changed its name in 2001 to the more inclusive Equality Mississippi.
In 2004, Mississippi voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and prohibiting Mississippi from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries where they may be legal. The amendment passed by a margin of 86% to 14%, the largest margin in any state. (

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Southern Baptist Convention with 916,440; the United Methodist Church with 240,576; and the Roman Catholic Church with 115,760. (


Until the Civil War era, Mississippi had only a small number of schools and no educational institutions for black people. The first school for black people was established in 1862.
During Reconstruction in 1870, black and white Republicans were the first to establish a system of public education in the state. The state's dependence on agriculture and resistance to taxation limited the funds it had available to spend on any schools. As late as the early 20th century, there were few schools in rural areas. With seed money from the Julius Rosenwald Fund, many rural black communities across Mississippi raised matching funds and contributed public funds to build new schools for their children. Essentially, many black adults taxed themselves twice and made significant sacrifices to raise money for the education of children in their communities.

Blacks and whites attended separate public schools in Mississippi until the 1960s, when they began to be integrated following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated public schools were unconstitutional. Population settlement patterns have resulted in many districts that are de facto segregated.
In the late 1980s, the state had 954 public elementary and secondary schools, with a total yearly enrollment of about 369,500 elementary pupils and about 132,500 secondary students. Some 45,700 students attended private schools. In 2004, Mississippi was ranked last among the fifty states in academic achievement by the American Legislative Exchange Council's Report Card on Education, with the lowest average ACT scores and spending per pupil in the nation.
In 2007, Mississippi students scored the lowest of any state on the National Assessments of Educational Progress in both math and science. (

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