ATLANTA – Mercer University, in partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia (CBF/GA), dedicated its new interfaith prayer garden today on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta.
The site, which is located on an island in the West Parking Lot on campus, also includes a labyrinth and outdoor classroom and is intended to be "a garden, a spiritual oasis, a place where friendship that crosses every ethnicity, culture and faith tradition can grow," said Charlotte Connah, co-chair of the Baptist-Muslim Committee of the CBF/GA Interfaith Task Force. The task force is a partner organization of the University's McAfee School of Theology.
"This campus is wondrously rich in diversity, and this committee fully believes that our young people are our future's best shot at building a better world, one of bridges rather than walls, one of dialogue rather than reaction, one of friendship and not division," Connah said during Thursday's ceremony.
Connah had the vision for an interfaith prayer garden on Mercer's campus three years ago and shared her idea with Mercer President William D. Underwood, Senior Vice President for the Atlanta Campus Richard V. Swindle and McAfee Dean R. Alan Culpepper. A fundraising campaign was initiated through CBF/GA and received contributions from approximately 40 donors representing multiple religious faiths and walks of life.
The lead gift was made by Aziz Dhanani, CEO of Premier Petroleum Inc., who has significantly contributed to the Atlanta area through his involvement with the local Muslim community and his philanthropic endeavors. The garden was dedicated in memory of his parents, Zehrakhanu and Allauddin Dhanani. Continue Reading