The Christian View magazine  
A ministry of Christian journalism...Shining the Light of Christ
Matthew 5:16

Community Comes Together for a Time of Prayer, Worship, and Fellowship
By Karen Brewer, Publisher

The evening of Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the community came together at the Pickens County Performing Arts Center in Liberty for a time of prayer, worship, and fellowship, to pray for Pickens County and all elected officials and community leaders. The keynote message was preached by Dr. David Gallamore, Pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley, and music was provided by Rock of Ages Family Music (the Rankin Family).

Pickens County Council Vice Chair Chris Bowers welcomed everyone in attendance. "I want to say thank you for being here on this cold, dreary, rainy night," he told those gathered.

He explained that, shortly after they had been elected, County Council Chair Roy Costner had called him. "He said, 'I want to do something different, something unique. I want to get together, and I want pray for our community leaders. I want to put our faith in the middle of what we’re doing.' 

"There’s a lot of debate, there’s a lot of discussion," Bowers said, "about faith in politics and religion in politics and ‘separation of church and state.’ But, in reality, it’s what’s in our heart.


Photograph by Karen Brewer, Publisher

Pickens County Council Vice Chair Chris Bowers.
"And that’s what this is all about. That’s what this gathering is all about, us coming together as a community and worshipping together and praying together, so that we can all have the path and direction we need. 

"I want to say thank you all for being here with us tonight. We hope to do this for many years in the future. So, tell your friends and family. Plan to be here again next year.

"At this time, I’m going to welcome the Rankin family up. I set the bar really high. You really 'knocked my socks off', so I want to share with everybody else. Thank y’all for being here."

Photograph by Karen Brewer, Publisher

Rock of Ages Family Music (Greg and KariJoy Rankin and their sons and daughters, Peter, Priscilla, Deborah, Luke, Susanna, and Phebe, sang and played a selection of Gospel and patriotic songs for the event.



The Rock of Ages Family Music (Greg and KariJoy Rankin and their sons and daughters, Peter, Priscilla, Deborah, Luke, Susanna, and Phebe, sang and played Gospel and patriotic music.

"The prophet Jeremiah said that his sin was marked before the Lord," said Greg Rankin. "What could wash away those sins? I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that it’s His blood that’ll wash our sins away. And one day, all of us are going to give an account before God. We’re going to stand before an incredibly holy and righteous God, but if you’re in Christ, if you’re washed by His blood, if His blood is on your account, then you are clean, you are clear, and you can stand before Him. I thank God Paul said in the book of Romans, ‘I’m not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth."


Photographs in the slideshow above by Karen Brewer, Publisher

Rock of Ages Family Music (the Rankin family) provided Gospel and patriotic music for the event.



Photograph by Karen Brewer, Publisher

Pickens County Council Chair Roy Costner.
"All I can say is Amen," said Pickens County Council Chair Roy Costner. "That is just absolutely wonderful. Chris Bowers, you said that you set the bar really high. They exceeded that. And all for the glory of God."

Costner noted that representatives from the State Delegation were present as well as County Council and municipalities. "We’re all together as servants, right? We’re all together as one body of Christ. I’m just so thankful to have the opportunity to be here."  

Costner then told a story of when he had traveled overseas with another businessman who, he said, wanted to bring a block of cheese into the country with him.

"The customs agent said, 'Sir, you can’t bring that in here.' He said, 'I paid a lot of money for this. I’m going to bring this cheese in with me.' He argued with him for a couple of minutes, and I finally said, 'Don’t argue with this guy. You’re in the wrong place to argue.' He said, 'I’ll be right back.' He walked to the back of the line, unwrapped that cheese, and started eating it. By the time he got back up to the front again, to that customs agent, he handed him the wrapper, and he said, 'I told you I’d bring that cheese into the country.' 

I tell that story because it doesn’t matter whether you’re a community leader, a Sunday School teacher, a volunteer in different organizations, or whether you’re an elected official, or a teacher, or a student, if you’ve got a relationship with Jesus Christ, it doesn’t matter where you go, you’re bringing Him with you."

Costner introduced State Representative Neal Collins, who said, "From a personal standpoint, faith is a guidepost in how I operate. Of course, I’m a sinner. We all are. But it’s a guidepost for me."

Collins said that criticism of faith and politics is "just not based on the foundation of our country. It's not based on actual facts. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say ‘separation of church and state.’ As elected leaders, I think it is not only our right but also our duty to profess our faith and to live by our teachings. I want to thank the Council. I want to thank everyone here for allowing us to do so. I appreciate it."


Photograph by Karen Brewer, Publisher

South Carolina State Representative Neal Collins.


"I am so thankful that I live in a community, a county, a country, where we can be bold and stand strong in our faith," said Costner. 

"In Pickens County, there are 122,000 people. There are 90,000 that don’t go to church. What you guys can do is continue to connect the unconnected. You can make a difference. And you can do this by letting the light of Christ shine through you.

"Let's go to the Lord in prayer. Most gracious and heavenly Father, my Father, thank you so much for this day, thank you so much for all those blessings that you give us, Lord. Those things that we take for granted... Thank you for our teachers. They care so much about our kids and our community, that we can continue to grow and thrive and build up a tremendous group of people who are worshipping and following you. Lord, we want to pray for our cities, for the Councilmen, for the Mayors, dear Lord, we want to lift them up. Sometimes, they've got to make tough decisions. We pray for our County Council. We want to pray for our state Delegation. We want to pray for our Senators, and we want to pray for our Congressmen in the United States. Lord, this is an incredible country. And it is here because it’s based on the foundation of our love for you. Dear Lord, we want to pray for our President and all the leaders, that they continue to make good decisions, based on what is right by you. Dear Lord, all we can say is, as a community, as we come together, we’re not one individual denomination. It’s not Baptists or Wesleyans or Presbyterians or anything else other than we’re all Christians because we know that Jesus Christ died on the cross for us. Thank you for this evening, this moment. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen."

Costner then told the audience, "As an elected official, we covet your prayers," and he added, "And we are so thankful and grateful to have such tremendous men of God that lead us throughout this county."

He introduced Dr. David Gallamore, Pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley, who was the guest speaker for the event.



Photograph by Karen Brewer, Publisher

Dr. David Gallamore, Pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley.



"It’s an honor to be here," said Gallamore, who spoke well of the Rankin family and added, "I’m glad for the leadership in this city and all the other cities in this county and for the leadership in the County Council and the city councils in this area. How we need men and women that are not ashamed of who they are in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we’ve ever needed men and women to stand up for what’s right, we need it in the day in which we live.

"I see a few Pastors out there, some of the greatest pastors in the world," he said. “We owe a great deal of debt and gratitude to everybody’s who’s trying to make an impact for the Lord Jesus.

"I didn’t know those stats, Councilman Costner, until you gave those a moment ago. Can you believe that? 90 something thousand out of 122,000 that are not in church anywhere. Folks, we need revival."

Gallamore preached a message entitled, "Thank God I’m Free," from Revelation 5:1-10.

He noted that Veterans Day had just been celebrated, and he said that he was reminded of two songs, "We Will Remember" and "To God Be the Glory."

"We need to remember how we got here," he said. "Somebody paid the price. You and I have a whole lot to be thankful for.

"We have Memorial Day, and we remember those who’ve given their lives for the cause of freedom. We have Veterans Day to remember those men and women who have gone all over this globe and stood there for you and for me to help us to stay free.

"Be careful, Mr. Senator, Mrs. Senator, Mr. Congressman, Mrs. Congresswoman, be careful, Mayors and Governors, be careful. on the Councils, that we make an impact, because it’s going to affect folks not just today but a long time to come. Our forefathers paid a high price for our freedom, and we’ve got to do the same thing if we’re going to keep it."

He then preached a message about the cause of freedom and the cost of freedom and the consequence of freedom, the price for freedom and the privilege for freedom, and how "we've got to do what's right regardless of the opposition."
 
"Some may say the odds are against those who are born again, blood-washed believers, but I want you to know that, when we’re on God’s side, we are in the majority because God’s the majority all by Himself."


Photographs in the slideshow above by Karen Brewer, Publisher

Dr. David Gallamore, Pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley.



Rock of Ages Family Music (the Rankin family) sang two additional songs, "Nearer My God to Thee" and "Lord, Send Me Anywhere" to close out the evening. 


Photograph by Karen Brewer, Publisher

Rock of Ages Family Music, Greg and KariJoy Rankin and their sons and daughters, Peter, Priscilla, Deborah, Luke, Susanna, and Phebe.


Photographs in the slideshow above by Karen Brewer, Publisher

Rock of Ages Family Music, the Rankin family.


"I just want to thank you all for coming out tonight," Bowers told everyone gathered. "I do ask that you continue to cover our community in prayer, cover our leaders in prayer. I need your prayers. We all need your prayers. I want to thank you all for being here. I want to thank Preacher David for bringing the message tonight. It definitely touched the heart. Thank you for the wonderful music. You ‘blew it out of the water.' Phenomenal. I can’t say thank you enough. 

"I want to thank you all for being here. Please spread the word. This is something we want to continue. We don’t want it to stop. We don’t want it to end. It’s going to take revival. It’s going to take change. It’s got to happen here. So, thank you all for being here. Please drive safe, and have a wonderful night."