The group passed through each room offering a covering of faith for the building, its occupants and the leaders who would carry out the county’s business inside.
“I think that’s why we’ve done as well as we have because these ministers have been praying for government,” Brown said.
The Reverend Joe E. Edwards, pastor of The Church at Liberty Square, was part of that group and said he has seen the impact of those prayers sent up those many years ago.
“I believe God honors that,” Edwards said.
Even though church and state are separate entities, Edwards said there is a place for prayer in the day-to-day operations of government.
“We see it as going back to the founding fathers,” Edwards said. “We’re not here to demand that religion be involved in government other than it be part and parcel in our leaders.”
It’s that idea that led Edwards to organize the Commissioner and Mayors Prayer Luncheon 16 years ago.
The luncheon is a way for members of the faith community to join with local leaders to appeal as a unit through prayer for the betterment of Bartow County.
“It’s a message to the people that you don’t run an office like this without prayer,” Brown said.
Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bruce Thompson said prayer is something intrinsic in the nature of those living in Bartow County and encompasses all denominations.
“Religion doesn’t have a place here, faith does,” said Thompson who is on the committee that organizes the luncheon. “We are very fortunate to live in a community that is very strong in its faith.”
The luncheon will be held Thursday at noon at the Clarence Brown Conference Center. Serving lines start at 11:45 a.m.
Tickets are $10 and are available at Arco Ideas & Design, Inc., Asher Realty and The Church at Liberty Square. The guest speaker is Dr. Mark Rutland, President of Oral Roberts University.
Since the luncheon’s inception, the community has embraced the idea of gathering together in prayer for local leaders and Danny Deems, who also is on the committee that organizes the luncheon, said it has become a tradition.
“It has grown not only in the number of people that attend but also in its influence,” Deems said.