Henry McMaster has been inaugurated to his first elected term as South Carolina Governor.
The day started with a prayer service Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Columbia, where McMaster and his family are members.
Speakers from several denominations offered prayers along with standard hymns such as How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace.
“Help Governor McMaster has he develops policies, deals with conflicts and prioritizes leadership both at home and abroad,” said one speaker. “Leadership that faileth not even when the opposition and oppression is from within. Even when the conflict and chaos manifest itself in nature.”
First Presbyterian Senior Minister Dr. Derek. W.H. Thomas gave the sermon, proudly telling the congregation that he recently was naturalized as a United States citizen.
“Pray for our state, for our government. And today, especially for our dear Governor and the First Lady,” he said. “And we are particularly proud to say that he is one of ours in the sense that he’s a member of this church and he sits right up there every Sunday morning.”
The congregation laughed as Thomas gestured to where the McMasters sit on Sundays. Thomas referenced scripture referring to King Solomon in his sermon.
“We should pray that they be given strength and wisdom. The wisdom of Solomon,” he said. “That the government in all its branches would work in harmony and that good would usher in a new season of blessing for our state.”
McMaster’s swearing-in ceremony was at 11 a.m. at the State House. Pamela Evette took her oath of office as Lieutenant Governor as well.
29 cadets from The Citadel served as escorts during the ceremony.
From 2- 4 p.m. the public is invited to the McMaster family Open House at the Governor’s Mansion.
The Inaugural Ball starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and is invitation-only.