The nerve! How dare he? Can you believe that the Governor of South Carolina actually stood by, with head reverently bowed, while a man prayed prior to news conferences relative to Hurricane Dorian? I mean, really! What was he thinking?

Thank you, Governor McMaster for having the courage and integrity to begin these important conferences with a much more important item, prayer! But of course, now he has to deal with that group of “wonderful people” known as the Freedom from Religion Foundation (actually, the Freedom from Christianity Foundation because everything they do promotes and attempts to “establish” their own me-theistic and humanistic religion). And thank you for your response to them!

In their criticism of our Governor, these malcontents accused him of violating the Constitution’s very important First Amendment. It might be good if they would re-read that, try to understand the purpose of the amendment, and then look clearly at the very understandable wording. “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The clear intent is that our Congress not mandate one national church and require all citizens to be a part and participate in that. The additional clear intent is that every citizen (including governors) has the right to the free exercise of his/her faith. So, let’s see what Governor McMaster, and the one who prayed beside him, did that was contrary to this.

Did they pray? Yes, they did. Prayer is not against the Constitution. Was the prayer public? Yes, public prayer is not against the Constitution, unless all those “around” are required to join in. Other than the one praying, and I would guess our Governor, was anyone else required to pray the prayer, listen to the prayer, or admonished not to pray? Of course not.

As prayer was being offered up at those press conferences, every South Carolinian was free to pray or not to pray. Each one could pray to his/her own God/god. If humanists or me-theists, they were even welcome to pray to themselves. There was no attempt to establish a faith, a prayer or a religion. There was a citizen praying to his God for protection, the one and only place we can go for that kind of protection.

While it is easy for organizations like FFRF to find jurists who have no knowledge of nor care for the literal nature of the Constitution, and who make rulings that are themselves unconstitutional, it is time that we stand up and say “No more”! You are welcome to your faith; so are we. And we will stand on our Constitution and our “Higher Power” and we will freely exercise that right; you will not prohibit it!

Now a word to the FFRF, go find something positive to do! Help someone; build up instead of always seeking to tear down. On of the most disturbing characteristics of such organizations is that they are always “against something” not for something.

Last year, they complained because a school classroom put together shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child! That’s right, they objected to boxes of toys, toiletries, school supplies etc. being sent to poor children around the world! Why?

Because a “religious” group sponsors it. Wouldn’t it have been better for them to find a class/classes and put together such boxes of their own and make life a little better for others? Try it, FFFR; at the end of the day you’ll feel better and others will feel better about you.

I titled this column, “Will you join my new organization?” What is it? It’s called the Freedom From the Freedom From Religion Foundation. And I know in no time I’ll have far more members from a greater cross section of faiths and religions than FFRF has now! Because, by and large, people do want to make a positive impact on the lives of themselves and others and not always tear down.

So, in closing let me remind all of us that name the name of Christ, our real fight is not with “flesh and blood”, not against the human members of organizations like this. Our fight is against the “rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness…” So we’ll “take up the whole armor of God so that we’ll be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all…” We’ll stand! (Ephesians 6:11-13)

National Life Chain Sunday

National Life Chain Sunday across the U.S. and Canada will be Sunday. Grand Strand area life chains are scheduled as follows:

■ Myrtle Beach at Kings Hwy. (28th Ave. N to 38th Ave. N). Signs will be available at 1:30 p.m. at St. Andrew Church. Contact John at (843) 626-8684.

■ Conway at Coastal Mall Shopping Ctr., U.S. 501 (near Belks), 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Contact Lori at (843) 503-3607.

■ North Myrtle Beach, on U.S. 17 just off Eighth Ave. N in front of Our Lady Star of the Sea Church; hours 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Contact Andy at (843) 734-0137.

■ Garden City, U.S. 17 near St. Michael’s Church; also 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Contact Joanne at (614) 313-8425.

Contact the Georgetown Life Chain at Hardee’s at 5 Points by calling Dan Owens at (843) 240-7810.

A Life Chain is a peaceful and prayerful demonstration for the lives of our unborn children. Sign messages include Abortion Kills Children, Adoption: The Loving Option, Jesus Forgives and Heals and so on.

Help4Kids Needs You!

How often do you go to bed hungry (not because you’re dieting, but because you have nothing to eat)? How often do your children go to school hungry? We know that this is a condition for millions of children worldwide. But it’s also a problem here in Horry County.

Help4Kids provides food for the needy and hungry boys and girls of our area. And they need you! Not only do they need us to provide food items and to support their fundraisers, but they also need volunteers to help out in a variety of ways. If you’d like to be part of the “hunger solution”, stop at their office at 2523 Forestbrook Road or e-mail to info@help4kidssc.org.

Decision America: Tar Heel State Tour

Let’s all be much in prayer for Franklin Graham as he continues the Decision America Crusades in October in North Carolina. The schedule is:

Wilmington, Oct. 5; Raleigh, Oct. 6; Greensboro, Oct. 9; Hickory, Oct. 10; Charlotte, Oct. 12 and Asheville, Oct. 13. Go to DecisionAmerica.com.

Bring Your Bible To School

“Bring Your Bible To School” day is scheduled for today. Sponsored by Focus on the Family, and ongoing in schools in all 50 states, this day is a special time for students to share their faith and show their trust in the Word of God. So, Christian young people, take your Bible to school, put it on top of your books and proclaim the Bible and the God who wrote it!

Sean McDowell at Ground Zero

Ground Zero will feature iWorship with Sean McDowell Oct. 13 from 6:15 p.m.-8 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.). Sean is a gifted communicator with a passion for equipping the church and in particular young people. He connects with the audience in a tangible way through humor and stories while making the case for Christian faith, imparting hard evidence and logical support for living all areas of life through a Biblical worldview.

The event is free (an offering will be taken) and seating is limited. Reserve your seats at mygroundzero.com.

Future events include iWorship with illusionist Brock Gill on Nov. 10 and the Newsboys on Nov. 16.

CEF Softball Tournament Rescheduled

Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Greater Pee Dee will host its first Slow-Pitch Softball Tournament to benefit Good News Clubs.

The tournament has been rescheduled and now will be held Oct. 19 at 8 Oaks Park in Georgetown. This is a co-ed tournament, teams of 10-15 players, age 15 and over. Cost is $15 per player.

Go online to www.cefgpd.org, phone (843) 365-4233 or e-mail susie@cefgpd.org.

Coastline Welcomes Abby Johnson

Coastline Women’s Center is hosting An Evening With Abby Johnson. Abby is the author of the book “Unplanned” that brought about the movie of the same name. She is the brave young woman, former head of a Planned Parenthood “clinic”, who witnessed firsthand the horror of abortion and shone the light on the lies of the abortion industry.

This special time will be held Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. at Christ United Church, Myrtle Beach. You won’t want to miss it. Tickets are now available and I believe this event will sell out quickly (I already have mine). Call Coastline Women’s Center at (843) 877-9653, e-mail to jeannieandcartersmith@gmail.com, or go online to coastlinewomenscenter.org.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ Conway’s First Friday Evening of Prayer will be held this week at 7 p.m. at Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road. All of God’s people are encouraged to come out for a time of prayer and meditation. Our homes, our schools, our churches, our communities, our states, our nation and our world are in dire need of prayer. Let’s join hearts and voices to the God of the Universe and seek His will and blessing. Questions? Phone (843) 369-7729.

■ Dr. Ernie Perkins will be the guest speaker for Fall Revival services at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 4301 Red Bluff Road in Loris. The services will be held today, Oct. 10 and Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. There will be speaking and singing each evening and you are invited. Phone (843) 756-6221.

■ St. James Catholic Church, 1071 Academy Drive, will be showing the wonderful, life-supporting movie Unplanned Friday at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited. If you haven’t seen the movie, take some friends and see it. If you have seen the movie, take some friends and see it again. If you’re “pro-life” or if you’re “pro-choice”, see the movie! Questions? Contact Lori at lvidean@gmail.com.

■ The Refuge Savannah Bluff, 306 S.C. 544, announces two upcoming events you won’t want to miss, both coming Saturday. From 7 a.m.-4 p.m. there will be a Gigantic Yard Sale; you can come by, browse and shop or you can sell. (10x10 spaces are $20).

Then at 10 a.m. there will be a BBQ sale with the best Boston butts around. Get a sandwich combo or by the pound. Phone or text (843) 503-3070.

The Refuge also invites you to Fall Revival Services Oct. 6-9 at 7 p.m. Guest speakers include Wyatt Cook, Shep Stone, Janna Cook and Zach Henderson.

■ Good Hope Baptist Church, 6101 Privetts Road (between Conway and Loris), will celebrate “Homecoming 2019” Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The church choir and others will lift you to “higher ground” singing about the Lord Jesus Christ. The Rev. Laneir Singleton will bring the message. A delicious meal will be served at noon. Everyone is invited! Phone (843) 365-6242.

■ Bayboro Baptist Church, 3901 Green Sea Road South, Aynor will have special singing with Willing Hearts Sunday at 11 a.m.

Then Sunday-Wednesday come out at 7:30 p.m. for revival services with guest speaker the Rev. Benji Hutson. Phone (843) 756-8132.

■ Father’s Cup Overflow Church, 1569 S.C. 9 in Longs, will host its Second Annual Fish and Grits Festival with music by Willing Hearts Saturday at 10 a.m. All are welcome. Phone (843) 421-9531.

■ Juniper Bay Baptist Church, 5265 Juniper Bay Road, invites you to a gospel music concert featuring Mark Lanier Sunday at 6 p.m. Phone (843) 397-2787.

■ First United Methodist Church, 1001 Fifth Ave., invites you to Hymns, Hotdogs and Hamburgers on Oct. 7 at noon in the fellowship hall. Following lunch, everyone will have an opportunity to choose a favorite hymn for all to sing. Phone (843) 488-4251.

■ Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 504 Church St., invites everyone to a Community Health Fair Oct. 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The theme of the event is Health is Wealth: Fitness for your Mind, Body and Spirit. Vendors are needed for the event. Phone (843) 248-4900.

■ The Martha Circle Class of Centenary United Methodist Church, 1527 S.C. 544, will have its annual Community Craft Fair Oct. 12 at 8 a.m. Everyone is welcome. Vendors are still needed. Phone (843) 333-1906.

■ New Home Baptist Church, 1865 S.C. 139, will have its 113th Homecoming and Harvest Day, with music by Willing Hearts, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. Come and join them! Phone (843) 365-5634.

■ Prince Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 3724 Maple St., Loris will have homecoming Oct. 13 at 11:15 a.m. Guests include Minister Tony Campbell, Tony and the Goldenairs, Voices of Praise and more. Phone (843) 855-3983.

■ Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 6907 S.C. 905, will have revival services Oct. 20-23 with guest speaker Curtis Parker. In addition, Sonny Clardy will be singing Sunday morning.

■ Loris Baptist Church, 3117 Main St., invites you to Judgment House, a Christian alternative to Halloween and the “notorious haunted house”. Judgment House is a seven-scene walk-through drama, effectively presenting the gospel through a relevant and gripping story.

Bring your church youth and their unchurched friends to Loris on one of the following nights: Oct. 24 from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Oct. 26 and 27 from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. The experience takes about an hour and groups of 25-30 enter every 20 minutes.

There is a suggested donation of $5 per person. Call (843) 877-2206 to make your reservations. Walk-ins are welcome through 10 p.m. each evening. Please, no children under the age of 8.

■ Advancing the Kingdom Church, 1672 S.C. 905, will have Trunk or Treat Oct. 26 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. There will be free candy, games, face painting and food. Please RSVP to the church’s site advancingthekingdomchurch.org.

■ Don’t miss Worship on the Waccamaw at Riverfront Park Nov. 2 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy Leading the Way, Cecily Hennigan, the Chosen and Blake Herron.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road, Loris will have Harvest Day Nov. 3. Come out to Sunday school at 9:45 a.m. then Morning Worship with special guest the Unity Quartet at 10 a.m. with a covered dish lunch at noon.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road, Loris has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: We serve Christ when we serve people.

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ Women of Passion presents Kaleidoscope: A Beautiful Life Saturday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Hampton Inn & Suites Oceanfront, 1801 S. Ocean Blvd. Registration is $25 and includes lunch. Call (843) 946-6400, (864) 477-9683 or e-mail info@lovecoversus.com.

Speakers include Jenny McMakin, Mandy Roberts, Diane Craig, Linda Suleski, Donna Cannoles, Bernadette Washington and Stacey Gurley.

■ The Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 17 Bypass South in Surfside Beach, will hold its annual Blessing of the Animal Sunday during Worship Services at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Bring your pets to church (properly caged or leashed).

All pets are welcome from puppies and kitties to elephants and giraffes! There will be many service animals from the community including police K9’s, therapy animals and horses from Barnabas Horse Foundation. And there will be a pet-free zone for those with allergies. Phone (843) 215-4500 or go online to www.resurrectionsurfside.org.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).

Oct. 2, Hebrew School, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.; Advanced Hebrew 1 p.m.-2 p.m., Adult Education, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

Order High Holiday Challahs and Honeycakes at (336) 402-1014.

High Holidays Schedule:

Kol Nidre, Oct. 8, 6:30 p.m.

Yom Kippur, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.; Private Devotion 4:30 p.m.; Mincha & Neilah 5:30 p.m.; Break-the-Fast, 7:26 p.m.

Camp Judaea: Israel, Judaism, Nature, Community, Individual growth. For boys and girls age 7-15. Register for next summer by calling1-404-634-7883.

Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting school supplies to help both the Community Kitchen and Helping Hand. Place in the basket by the front door of the Rosen Center. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated. Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.

■ You are invited to Timberfest, the Fall Festival of Timberlake Baptist Church, 9850 S.C. 707 Oct. 19 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. Enjoy craft booths, food, live music, bake sale, inflatables and more.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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