Forsyth County officials and members of the community gathered this week for the local installment of the National Day of Prayer.
On Tuesday, Adam Johnson, lead pastor of Browns Bridge Church, and several local officials spoke to the community and led prayers at a National Day of Prayer celebration at the Forsyth County administration building, where the event had been moved due to rainy weather.
“We may have differences. We may have different beliefs when it comes to how the county should be run, how life should work. We may have differing opinions when it comes to faith and politics, things along those lines,” Johnson said. “But we can still come together before our creator and say, ‘You know what, we can join together, we can have chemistry, we can have unity in this county for the betterment of this county.’”
Through the event, county leaders discussed the how faith affects their careers and lives.
“I pray this day, as every day, that God will give those of us who wear the black robes, those of us who are across the street in the courthouse the wisdom … to be able to make the very, very difficult decisions that we have to make,” Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley said.
Sheriff Ron Freeman said while there are problems in the county, there is a need to pray and be thankful for the good things.
“I think sometimes we forget the blessings that we get and the blessings that we have, and I mention this particularly as we bring this down to Forsyth County,” Freeman said. “We are blessed; we lived in a unique community. I will challenge you to find anywhere else in this nation; we are affluent, we are blessed. Yes, we have issues, we have number ones stacked on top of it, you could almost fill in the blanks.
District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, who opened the meeting and introduced speakers, spoke on the importance of prayer.
“I hope that we never get to a point where we stop recognizing the importance of that; that we need to pause and take the time to realize that we need to pause and to pray,” she said. “I just am grateful that we have people who recognize the importance of that.”
District 25 state Rep. Todd Jones spoke on how the county is changing and focusing on building a community in spite of that change and said Forsyth needs to be a united county rather than a fragmented one.
“The only way we will do that is to be inclusive, to understand that the fact of the matter is not everybody is going to go to the same church,” Jones said. “And you know what, that’s okay. We have to respect that because the First Amendment says it is freedom of religion, not freedom of a particular religion.
“The question becomes now, can you step out of your comfort zone?”
Giving a historical perspective and reading passages from founding fathers was District 2 Commissioner Rick Swope.
“There are some things I am pretty sure of, but one thing I’m certain of and that is there is a God and he is sovereign over the affairs of men and government,” Swope said. “With that, I simply say God bless Forsyth County and God Bless America.”