FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Much has been debated about whether religion belongs in government. However, on May 4, there was no debate in Forsyth County on the National Day of Prayer.
In 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States. Since then, communities have gathered to reflect on the day.
Speakers at this year’s event included District 4 County Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, District 2 County Commissioner Rick Swope, Sheriff Ron Freeman, Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley, state Rep. Todd Jones and lead pastor of Browns Bridge Church Adam Johnson.
The roots of prayer for the nation reach further back in history, Swope said.
“Our Founding Fathers said it was self-evident that we are created and therefore we should give thanks to our creator,” Swope said. “Do we imagine we no longer need his assistance in Forsyth County? I’ve lived here a long time, but the longer I live here the more I see it’s true that God governs in the affairs of men.”
Mills said she is thankful she lives in a county that allows an event like this to occur.
“I stand in awe of being part of a country where a president would have a proclamation like this that recognizes the importance of prayer,” Mills said. “I hope we never get to a point where we stop recognizing the importance of needing to pause. I’m grateful people still do.”
One of the fundamental differences in our country is a disconnect between faith and government, Jones said.
“There’s an idea that it’s politically incorrect to speak toward our Supreme Being,” he said. “When our founders said separation of church and state, they didn’t mean we can’t look to the Almighty. We must find guidance from them.”
This is Jones’ first term in the state House, and when he goes to the Capitol in Atlanta and talks about being from Forsyth County, he’s often asked about the county’s accomplishments.
“We are soaked in riches,” Jones said. “The cliche is once you’re at the top of the mountain there’s nowhere else to go but down. I think that’s folly. We do have challenges but to fight those we turn to the almighty God and ask everyone to look to him for that guidance.”