GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids community will gather to pray for students as they head back to school next week.

They will gather at Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday for the 30th annual Blessing of the Students.

“I’ve been coming to the Blessing of the Students since I was one years old,” 11-year-old Isaiah Knetsch said. “I really do think that prayer impacts a lot of people and prayer moves mountains.”

He’ll start 6th grade next week along with 10-year-old Braylon Suggs. He says he’s been attending Blessing of the Students for the past three years.

“It has impacted me by being a historic thing in my life, like a key moment,” Suggs said.

Knetsch is excited for a new school year, though there are a few first-day jitters. Suggs and Karis Davis, 10, are eager for it to come.

“I’m so excited or looking forward to meet my teacher and to see all my friends and see if they’re in my class,” Davis said.

They’ll each give a speech at the program on Sunday.

Grand Rapids City Commissioner Lisa Knight, Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom and Superintendent Leadriane Roby are among the guests offering encouragement to students, educators and parents.

Mayor of Kentwood Stephen Kepley and President of Ferris State University Bill Pink will also give encouraging words.

Ministers from local churches will offer prayer for parents and caregivers, students, teachers, safety officers, buildings and campuses.

“Come down here and learn about the history of something important to kids that you never learned before,” Suggs said.

Davis added, “If people come like if the community comes then they can tell their friends or family to come and more people can be prayed for.”

The church is located at 510 Martin Luther King, Jr. St. on the southeast side of Grand Rapids. The program will last from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.