Charlotte politicians and pastors in Charlotte have long had close ties.
When he was Charlotte mayor, Republican Pat McCrory looked to the Rev. David Chadwick of Forest Hill Church as a personal pastor.
Democrats Anthony Foxx and Harvey Gantt, two other former mayors, are prominent members of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. Its pastor, the Rev. Clifford Jones Sr., has long been a local mover and shaker, and definitely had the mayors' ear.
And now Charlotte has a new mayor, Democrat Patrick Cannon. He's been a longtime member of The Park Church (formerly University Park Baptist), whose pastor, Bishop Claude Alexander, is also connected and once thought of running for mayor himself.
But when Cannon was sworn in this week, the ceremony's closing prayer was given by the Rev. Steven Furtick of rapidly-growing Elevation Church. Cannon's wife and children and sometimes the mayor himself attend the multi-campus Southern Baptist church, which has a multiracial, mostly young congregation.
Monday night's ceremony also included the swearing-in of Charlotte City Council members. And Furtick, a registered Republican, prayed for both the mayor and the council in his three-minute prayer, which can be seen here.
The 33-year-old pastor also spoke a lot about Charlotte itself -- especially its future.
"Lord, we thank you tonight that as you look upon our city, you look upon us and see potential and possibility," he began. "And we thank you that your are for the city of Charlotte. We thank you that you have great plans for the city of Charlotte and that greater things are still to be done in this city."
About Cannon, he prayed: "We thank you for our new mayor, that you will bless him with 10,000 blessings. We pray that when he wakes up in the morning that he will feel and sense a surrounding strength and peace that only you can give."
After the ceremony, Furtick posted this on Instagram:
For me it was a privilege to pray for our new Mayor, Patrick Cannon & our city council tonight. I love the city of Charlotte, I am so thankful God planted us here.
-- Tim Funk