Dispersed throughout the program were prayers led by various community members to pray for city, county, state and national leaders.
“It is an awesome town to be in that we can lift up the name of God in a public place,” State Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) said at the beginning of his address to the crowd.
Setzler said America is enduring bitter conflicts “that have almost ripped our nation apart.”
Without agreement there can be not true unity, Setzler said, but luckily Americans have a base of being “like-minded in Christ.”
Acworth Alderman Tim Houston, the pastor and founder of Joshua Gospel Tabernacle, also led the crowd in prayer, with individuals shouting “Amen” for the spiritual healing of the country.
Houston said whether prayers are for individual healing or the nation’s healing, it is important to know “victory is coming.”
Mayor Tommy Allegood said the Acworth community has turned out for the event in greater and greater numbers to celebrate and give thanks for the work God has done in the small city.
“I believe God has really blessed our community in a special way,” Allegood said. “By bringing some really special people to the city … families that came and found something special here.”
Allegood said a blessing has also been in the form of investors flocking to the area to build Acworth — a city he compared to Mayberry, the fictional setting of “The Andy Griffith Show.”
This was the first year Acworth’s event was sponsored by an area church, with Pastor George White from Cedar Crest Church, located in northwest Cobb, filling the role as keynote speaker.
Also Thursday afternoon, six members of the Atlanta Freethought Society conducted a relatively quiet protest across the street from the prayerful gathering.
Organizers of the group say although citizens have the right to express religious beliefs, no one has the right to invoke government support of a religion.