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Preachers ask community to pray for Pickens

Dr. Alveda King to speak at Feb. 26 event

 prayer

Per the request of the Pickens County Ministerial Association, Jasper City Council declared February 26 Municipal Day of Prayer in light of events they say have shaken the community and brought turmoil and unrest. The city presented members of the ministerial association with the signed proclamation. (L – R) Gerald Faulkner, city council members John Foust and Sonny Proctor, Jeremy Bryan, council member Kirk Raffield, Max Caylor, Greg Meadows, Pickens County Ministerial Association President Ralph Barker, Jasper Mayor Steve Lawrence, Ben Mock, council members Anne Sneve and Jim Looney, and Pickens Commission Chair Rob Jones. 

Responding to the recent upheaval in local government leadership, high-profile arrests, and other social issues, the Pickens County Ministerial Association will hold a community breakfast at the end of February to pray for the county moving into what many believe will be a tumultuous election season. 

“There has been so much tension and trouble in our community lately,” Mt. Zion Baptist Church Pastor Ben Mock told the Progress. Mock attended the Jasper City Council meeting along with other local preachers to have February 26 proclaimed Municipal Day of Prayer. “Everyone is just wondering what the next big thing is that will drop. A few of us got together and said, we need to do something. The community needs prayer.”

Jasper Mayor Steve Lawrence, who teared up at one point, read the proclamation aloud at the Monday, Feb. 3 meeting, to “encourage all citizens to join us in earnest prayers for our cities, counties, state and nation, asking that God’s light illuminate the minds and hearts of his people so that we may meet the challenges that lie before us with courage, wisdom, and justice.”

In addition to leadership challenges they see in Pickens County, the ministerial association has identified other local issues including families in crisis, from what they see as high rates of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and drug abuse, and challenges for seniors; as well as community concerns including a disparity in demographics; and other issues like local business closures, human trafficking and health care. They note that “in a county of roughly 80 churches, their influence on moral behavior is minimal.”  

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be the guest speaker for the prayer breakfast. King is an activist and Fox News contributor, and former representative in the 28th District of the Georgia House of Representatives.

The community prayer breakfast will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7 a.m. at Chattahoochee Technical College’s Appalachian Campus. In addition to Dr. King, local pastors will speak and share comments about the community.