NORTH FULTON, Ga. – The first Thursday of May was the National Day of Prayer, and residents of North Fulton honored the nation’s freedom of religion with several events throughout the area.
The Rotary Club of North Fulton held its annual breakfast, while the city of Alpharetta offered several locations and Roswell held its traditional ceremony at the Faces of War Memorial near City Hall.
The day kicked off with the 12th annual interfaith breakfast at the Metropolitan Club hosted by the Rotary Club of North Fulton and featuring former Ambassador Andrew Young as the keynote speaker.
Young is a vigorous speaker who has been a leading figure in Atlanta politics since the Civil Rights era.
“We have been given the blessings of God more than any other people in the world,” he said.
Members of several faiths gathered to pray for the nation as well as to educate others about their religions.
“Each soul is spiritually divine,” said Brother Shakara, representing the Hindu faith. “It’s the goal of our lives to manifest that divinity.”
Rabbi Fred Greene of Temple Beth Tikvah, representing the Jewish faith, said the only way the world can change is if people work hard for it.
“We are a nation in need of healing,” Greene said. “We have to take that leap of faith if we want to see change in the world.”
Beyond simple work, faith is important, said Bassam Fakhoury of the Islamic Speakers Bureau.
“One of the duties we have is to be thankful to God,” Fakhoury said. “In God’s eyes, we are all equal except [how much] we follow his commands.”
In Roswell, the ceremony in the woods behind City Hall began with a call on the Shofar horn by members of the Beth Hallel congregation before the Rev. Neville Billy took over as master of ceremonies.
The crowd of about 100 people prayed for each segment of society – from praying for wise government to keeping military service members safe and the media and businesses honest and moral.
Children from the Fellowship Christian School kindergarten choir sang the national anthem and members of the U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band performed.
“Prayer is our nation’s greatest national resource, yet our nation’s most under-utilized resource,” said Billy, organizer of the Roswell event.