Pastor’s Day at the Statehouse 2019 drew and united more than 100 pastors from 11 different denominations who sought to develop and nurture a relationship with their state legislators.
For the third consecutive year, pastors from every corner of the Palmetto State gathered together to bring spiritual encouragement to the South Carolina Statehouse.
February 26th, 2019 marked the third-annual Pastor’s Day at the Statehouse which is organized by Palmetto Family. The sole 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 and encourage them spiritually.
Pastor’s Day at the Statehouse 2019 drew and united more than 100 pastors from 11 different denominations who sought to develop or nurture a relationship with their state legislators by providing spiritual encouragement in the form of pleasant fellowship and passionate prayer.
The day began at First Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, where the faith leaders were greeted with coffee, pastries and fellowship with their fellow Nehemiah Network members. The program – headlined by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette – began with Palmetto Family’s new president, Joshua Putnam, introducing himself to the Nehemiah Network in person for the first time. There, he announced new initiatives and events – quarterly bulletin inserts and video packages for member-churches and a Washington D.C. trip featuring private tours of the White House, Capitol building and Bible Museum.
Following Putnam, Governor McMaster addressed the crowd. McMaster shared that the paramount task for the pastors was to “stand your ground. Know where you’re going, go there and tell others why you’re going there.” Additionally, he explained that if South Carolina was going to adhere to its long-standing biblical values, faith leaders must be “strong, clear, determined and unapologetic in faith.”
Newly-elected Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, the key-note speaker of the event, echoed the Governor’s thoughts: “You have to be heard. We all have to be heard. People who believe that our faith is what makes us who we are have to stand up and we have to be proud and we have to say it…We never have to say we’re sorry for it.”
Evette also expressed the importance of pastors involvement in the political and legislative process saying that legislators “need (pastors’) help. We need you to make sure that these issues that are important to family – because family is what is going to make South Carolina great – get the support…You have a loud voice.”
With that encouragement fresh on their minds, the pastors made their way to the statehouse to soak it in prayer. Upon arrival, a prayer was conducted with Lt. Governor Evette in the statehouse rotunda where its echoes could be heard throughout the first floor. The short prayer time was the perfect sendoff as the pastors climbed the steps and arrived in the chamber lobby.
The lobby, always bustling and busy, was already packed and the pastors added to the chaos. However, shortly after Representative John McCravy of Greenwood, South Carolina, introduced the pastors on the House of Representatives’ floor, the lobby was being filled with pastor-legislator conversations and intercessory prayer which permeated and rose above the noise. Dozens of pastors laid hands on their South Carolina legislators – no doubt, an unusual sight – and asked God to provide each leader with the wisdom, insight and the courage necessary to guide the Palmetto State in a biblical, family-friendly direction.
Of the day, Erik Corcoran, the Director of the Nehemiah Network, said that he “never tires of witnessing pastors travel to the South Carolina Statehouse to make their presence felt. But not just an average showing; instead, a loving, kind, encouraging, spiritual presence the legislators truly respect and treasure. I hope to have enough pastors next year to completely fill the lobby.”
To date, the Nehemiah Network is comprised of over 400 members from 15 denominations. Members also host a weekly prayer call that over 35 South Carolina lawmakers have joined.
To learn more about the Nehemiah Network or to join, click here.