Just months after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Board of Commissioners in Rowan County, N.C., violated the Constitution by the way they opened their meetings with prayer, hundreds of residents gathered on the steps of the county courthouse to pray.
Tonya Skelly, a development associate with the Billy Graham Library, helped organize the public prayer gathering, known as Pray Rowan. Skelly was inspired by Franklin Graham’s Decision America Tour and wanted to see her community come together in prayer just as all 50 states came together for one-day prayer rallies.
No specific denomination or church was at the center of the gathering. Anyone in the community was welcome, and planning meetings were held in various churches throughout the county.
“It’s just about God’s people coming together, loving the community and encouraging the community,” Skelly told the Salisbury Post. “It’s a group of people understanding the power of prayer.”
On the day of the event, residents, ministers and city leaders joined together to pray for various issues facing their community. Pray Rowan now meets monthly, and organizers hope more people in the community will join with them in praying for their county.
Following the court ruling that the board’s prayers are unconstitutional, the commissioners decided in a 5-0 vote that they will appeal their case to the United States Supreme Court.