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Service, faith to highlight Deal inaugural ceremony
Evening gala at Philips Arena to include a Georgia flavor
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Deal inaugural events

Prayer service
: 9 a.m. Jan. 10
Where: Mount Paran Church of God, 2055 Mount Paran Road, Atlanta

Inaugural ceremony
: 2 p.m. Jan. 10
Where: State Capitol, Washington Street, Atlanta

: Invitation-only, funded by private contributions
When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10
Where: Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta


Gov.-elect Nathan Deal has announced the schedule of events surrounding his inauguration.

Deal will be sworn into office at 2 p.m. Jan. 10 in front of the state Capitol in Atlanta.

The ceremony will be preceded by a prayer service at 9 a.m. at the Mount Paran Church of God. An invitation-only gala will follow that evening at 7:30 p.m. at Philips Arena.

The gala will feature several musical performers from Georgia, as well as a nationally known headliner.

"We haven't announced all of the entertainment and participants for the prayer service, the inaugural and the gala," said Harris Blackwood, a spokesman for Deal. "But there will be some recognizable Gainesville names participating."

Blackwood said 91 members of Deal's church congregation, First Baptist Church of Gainesville, will sing at the morning prayer service.

"There has been a long-standing tradition that governors and constitutional officers on the morning of the inaugural have begun their day with a time of prayer. We are going to continue that tradition," Blackwood said. "This will be a very ecumenical event that will be inclusive of various religions and beliefs."

On Jan. 8, there will be service events for nonprofit agencies throughout Georgia.

"What better way to say thank you to the people of Georgia and honor the governor-elect than by providing a day of service to nonprofit agencies," Blackwood said. "In some places we're painting and fixing up, in some places we're stocking canned goods. It just runs the gamut."

Currently, there are 16 volunteer activities planned statewide, but Blackwood said the list is growing.
In Gainesville, events will be held at Good News Clinics and Good News at Noon.

"The Good News Clinics is going to be a wonderful opportunity to provide people an opportunity to see a doctor or dentist that might not otherwise be able to see one," Blackwood said. "That is one of the most exciting things of this day of service. We're going to have people who are going to come and volunteer but also people who are in need and have felt this economic downturn in a very personal way."

All events will be privately funded through contributions, Blackwood said. The prayer service and swearing-in ceremony will be open to the public, but the gala will be invitation-only.

Deal has committed to disclose the contributions he receives for the inaugural events, but will not make the information public until after inauguration. Blackwood said Deal is not required to disclose that information but elected to.

"We feel in the spirit of openness we should do that," Blackwood. 

Regional events