Courthouse staff supports Panthers and prayer program

Published 12:10 am Saturday, February 6, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

The Rowan County Clerk of Court Office staff showed support for the Carolina Panthers and a good cause on Friday.

Staff members who donated $2 to support the Shield-A-Badge with Prayer program got to wear their favorite Panthers gear.

Once word got out, attorneys and law enforcement also donated to the cause. They ended up raising $250.

The money raised by the staff and community is from both this week and last week. Last Friday, the staff was allowed to wear their favorite team’s shirt or jersey, but this week was all about the Panthers.

“It’s just a way of staff having fun,” Clerk of Court Jeff Barger said.

Barger said in addition to having fun and rooting on the Panthers, they also get to support the Shield-A-Badge with Prayer program.

The program is an organization that encourages churches and individuals to sign up to pray for an officer every day for a year. Participants can send their officer birthday cards and thank-you notes. Reverend Michael Taylor, chaplain with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, started the program for Rowan County.

Taylor said the program has been in Rowan County for over 20 years and has about 400-500 prayer partners.

“We just feel like there’s great need for this ministry now, especially (because of) what law enforcement are going through now,” he said.

Taylor said he believes the prayers are making a difference.

“It does work. I believe we’d have … officers who wouldn’t be living today if wasn’t for this program and people praying for them,” he said.

The staff also organized a party on Friday, and everyone pitched in. They signed up to bring in everything from food and drinks to blue and black balloons. A poster hung on a wall that said “Keep Pounding” with a pounding gavel between the words.

Barger said he might have another party and fundraising event during March Madness and donate the money to another cause.

Since Rev. Taylor does so much for law enforcement, Barger said it was nice to show him support.

“(The fundraiser) was just a way of giving back,” he said.

The staff presented Taylor with the donation later in the day while taking pictures on the courthouse steps.

“I appreciate the clerks’ office and all those up at the courthouse and in that department who wanted to help us out with this program,” he said.

Anyone who wants to join the Shield-A-Badge with Prayer program can call Rev. Taylor at 704-782-7201 for more information.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.