Members of the Georgia Senate, who are currently in session in Atlanta, recently reached out to one Richmond Hill clergyman for spiritual guidance.
Pastor Steve Lane, of New Beginnings Church, received a call out of the blue from President Pro Tempore of the Georgia Senate Eric Johnson, whose district includes Bryan County. Johnson asked Lane to speak to and pray in front of the members of Senate before a session meeting.
Lane has previously been called upon to lead prayer for many functions and dedications for the city of Richmond Hill, such as the Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day observances at JF Gregory Park and the dedication of the huge flag on Hwy. 17.
"Somebody in the community must have recommended me," Lane said. "It was a wonderful experience and an honor that I will not soon forget."
Johnson said his campaign manager, Richmond Hill resident Linda Barker, recommended Lane and that he knew Lane from meeting him at Richmond Hill Rotary Club meetings.
"We have a pastor speak every day before session," Johnson said. "We take our tasks very seriously during this time and I try to take the ‘what would Jesus do’ approach. The bottom line is if you’re Republican, Democrat, conservative or liberal, we all want better peace, better schools and a better community and ideology is the way to get there. Just like they do at church or at home, we bring pastors here to help us with the struggles we may encounter. Pastor Lane did a wonderful job of doing just that."
Lane said it made him feel good to know that the state’s lawmakers were looking to a higher power as they make crucial decisions that will affect Georgians. The Senate session is ongoing now and will conclude in early April.
"One senator told me ‘please don’t stop praying for us to help us make the right decisions. Things get really tense near the end of session and we can’t do it alone.’ It’s an awesome responsibility they have on their shoulders and it just made me feel really secure and proud about the whole process," Lane said.
Lane said he felt like a VIP during his visit. Right off the bat, he drove up into a reserved parking spot they had marked for him. He said Johnson then led him past all the lobbyists and reporters that were roped off in order to show him around and introduce him to his staff as well as members of the Senate, the House and Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle.
After his devotional, Lane said the Senators lined up as he shook their hands and spoke with each of them. He said he was impressed with the fact that he was not hurried through.
Lane also said that, while there, he managed to spend some time with Bryan County’s House Representatives Ron Stephens and Bob Lane.
He even traced back some possible family roots with Representative Lane. Stephens told Lane he would like him to come back in order to speak and pray before the House. Lane said he would be more than happy to do so and looks forward to his return to the capitol building.
"It’s comforting to know that religion is intact among the state’s hierarchy," Lane said. "Every senator was attentive during the devotional I gave. I think back to when President Bush called for prayer after 9-11 and some senators and congressman from other states stated they would not participate. I also think back to Governor Perdue urging everyone to pray for rain during the drought. I believe that if there ever is another emergency situation in Georgia, our state leaders would again call for prayer – and that means a lot to me."