North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory will attend a prayer rally in September that will serve as “a call to prayer for a nation in crisis.” The Republican governor was featured in a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer on Monday inviting people to a Christian prayer rally called “The Response: A Call To Prayer For A Nation In Crisis” Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Charlotte Convention Center.
— Logan Smith (@LoganJames) August 31, 2015
The six-hour event, which organizers are describing as a day of prayer and fasting, is funded by the conservative American Family Association. It is one of several planned “statewide solemn assemblies to gather people from all ages, denominations and backgrounds in prayer and fasting on behalf of our nation.”
Similar sessions are slated for Florida, Alabama and Missisippi, though specific dates have not yet been announced.
“This is the time for Christians to come together to call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy,” reads a description for the event posted on its website. The site adds all are welcome to attend, but the rally will be "unashamedly Christian. The only name that will be lifted up will be the name of Jesus Christ."
In a video posted online, Doug Stringer, an organizer for the North Carolina prayer rally, said, “We need an awakening of hearts if we’re going to impact the soul of our nation. There is a battle for the soul of our nation and the battle for the soul of our generation.”
This is not the first time a Republican governor has participated in such a prayer rally. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana served as the keynote speaker at another event hosted by the Response at Lousiana State University in January. And in 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry hosted a Response rally just days before he announced his candidacy for the 2012 presidential race.
This story has been updated to reflect that Gov. McCrory will attend the prayer rally but was not responsible for placing the ad in the Charlotte Observer. It was placed by The Response, the organization hosting the event. While the ad reads "Come join me in a time of worship, prayer, fasting and repentance," the Governor's office clarified that it did not give either The Response or the Observer permission to invite people on behalf on the governor.
"Governor McCrory accepted an invitation from the event organizers and will attend to talk to the audience about underage drinking, substance abuse and other issues that are important to the values of North Carolinians. Neither the organizers nor the Charlotte Observer had been given permission to invite people on his behalf as stated in the advertisement. The event is being organized by The Response: USA," said Graham Wilson, Gov. McCrory's press secretary, in an email to International Business Times.