Pastor’s Day at the Statehouse 2018 brought together South Carolina pastors and legislators to met and pray together.
The cold weather and rain didn’t deter over 75 pastors from across the Palmetto State from gathering together for Pastor’s Day at the Statehouse 2018 on March 6th.
2018 marked the second-annual Pastor’s Day at the Statehouse which is organized by Palmetto Family Council. The purpose of the event is for South Carolina pastors who belong to Palmetto Family’s pastor coalition, the Nehemiah Network, to meet and pray with their state legislators to encourage them spiritually.
Pastor’s Day 2018 accomplished just that.
Before gathering at the South Carolina Statehouse, the diverse group of pastors listened to presentations from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and former South Carolina Senator, Jim DeMint.
When discussing Pastor’s Day 2018 and the importance for faith leaders to be involved in lawmaker’s lives, Senator DeMint said, “Things don’t happen politically unless the culture is already there, and pastors are key in shaping that culture, if they want to be key.”
Following the opening program, the pastors walked to the Statehouse. Their first stop took them to the Statehouse rotunda where they had planned to meet and pray with South Carolina Lt. Governor, Kevin Bryant. Due to a scheduling conflict, however, Lt. Governor Bryant was unable to join the pastors. Instead, the pastors knelt and prayed for the Lt. Governor and for the future of South Carolina in the hallway leading the Lt. Governor’s office.
Shortly after the prayer in the rotunda, the pastors climbed the steps leading to the South Carolina Senate and House chambers. Representative Shannon Erickson announced to the assembled House members that the Nehemiah Network pastors were waiting to meet with them in the lobby – which marked the opening of the time for pastors to meet and pray individually with their state representative.
Pastors and representatives filled the lobby as conversations and prayers between the two echoed throughout the chambers for over thirty minutes.
The next event for the pastors was a meet and greet with South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster. Just outside his office, the pastors formed a circle around Governor McMaster, as he discussed with them faith and religious freedom issues. Following the discussion, the pastors laid hands on Governor McMaster as they prayed for him and for the Palmetto State.
The final stop on Pastor’s Day 2018 was to the South Carolina Senate. Just as with the House, Senators trickled out of the chambers to meet and pray with a pastor from their district.
When asked about the event, Erik Corcoran, Coalitions Director for Palmetto Family Council and leader of the Nehemiah Network, said that, “South Carolina and its decision makers need and, often times, covet the prayers of South Carolina Christians. It was an honor today at Pastor’s Day 2018 to lift up our lawmakers in person at the Statehouse. We know that many fruitful and needed relationships between lawmakers and pastors were forged.”
“The lightness that overcame the darkness – that can overtake this building sometimes – was just amazing to me. I could feel joy and excitement…No matter what came up all day that day, I felt covered,” said Representative Lin Bennett who represents District 114 in Charleston County. She continued, “To know that there’s a whole group of people in this state praying for all of us, just quickens my soul and makes me excited. I can’t thank them enough – I can’t tell them how grateful I am.”
This is not the first time Palmetto Family’s Nehemiah Network has made a splash in South Carolina. Pastor’s Day at the Statehouse 2017 produced similar results and attention as Pastor’s Day 2018. The Nehemiah Network has also garnered private meetings with Governor Henry McMaster at the Governor’s Mansion and with South Carolina’s most recently elected Congressman, Ralph Norman.
To date, the Nehemiah Network has 370 members from over twelve denominations. Members also host a weekly prayer call that over 30 South Carolina lawmakers have joined.
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