Local Politics

Prayers delivered for Perdue, state officials

Posted January 9, 2009 11:41 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Several religious leaders delivered prayers and words of inspiration Friday morning for Governor-elect Beverly Perdue and other state officials.

They spoke at an inter-denominational prayer service that was part of this weekend's inauguration festivities for Perdue and the Council of State.

"It was just an uplifting way to start this very important weekend," Perdue said after the service, which was held at First Baptist Church, on Wilmington Street across from the State Capitol.

"It's important for the people of North Carolina to know that this is going to be an administration that's based on ethics and sunshine and trying to do the right thing day in and day out," she said. "That starts, in my book, with faith."

Ministers from Christian and Jewish congregations spoke on topics like leadership, courage, wisdom and humility, and a state employees' choir sang hymns during the 45-minute service.

"Bless her, Lord," said the Rev. Michael Blackwell, president of Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina, in his prayer for Perdue. "Grant unto her special gifts of leadership – the patience of Job, the courage of Moses, the wisdom of Solomon – for Lord, she shall surely need them all."

"We thank (God) for new faces brought to power at such a time as this, new faces of all races and gender that was once believed impossible and improbable," said the Rev. Gregory Moss of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church.

Later Friday, Perdue and her husband, Bob Eaves, were expected to join thousands of supporters for the inaugural ball and other festivities in downtown Raleigh.

The inauguration for Perdue and the nine members of the Council of State is scheduled for Saturday morning on the steps of the state Division of Archives and History building on Jones Street. Five thousand seats will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Perdue said she would address some of the problems confronting the state – a budget deficit, growing unemployment, troubled state agencies – in her inaugural address.

"Life is never easy; we know know that. I'm a hard, bold leader. I understand standing up and making strong decisions," she said. "All things are possible for all of us. We can work together. I intend to build a healthy North Carolina with citizen involvement and with prayer."

Inauguration festivities began Thursday night with a reception honoring the new Council of State and a concert geared toward young voters. The Junior League of Raleigh sponsors both events, as well as the inaugural ball, to raise money for charity.

The inaugural parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Fayetteville and Davie streets downtown, and the weekend's activities conclude Saturday afternoon with an open house at the Governor's Mansion.

Inauguration attendees also have a chance to help people in need through a food drive. Non-perishable food items can be donated at the Governor's Mansion and near the library at Jones and Wilmington streets.