Prayer breakfast set

Published 4:05 pm Saturday, April 9, 2011

The 27th Annual Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast is scheduled for May 5 at 7 a.m. at the National Guard Armory.

This Suffolk event is being held concurrently with the National Day of Prayer, which will be celebrated May 5 throughout the United States.

The Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast is a sellout each year.

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The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives breakfast group inaugurated the National Prayer Breakfast to seek God’s guidance as well as to reaffirm their faith in God, His plan and purposes.

Virginia leaders have for many years met in Richmond for the annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast with the governor. Likewise, the five cities in Tidewater also host the annual South Hampton Roads Leadership Prayer Breakfast. These events, as well as the Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast, all are part of the National Prayer Breakfast movement.

Traditionally, the speaker and music for the Suffolk event are not announced ahead of time. Speakers have included such notables as last year’s speaker, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell; Lieutenant General Jerry Boykins, the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence; producer Holly McClure; former U.S. Olympic boxing coach Maurice Watkins; firefighters Bill Fanos and Mark Ruppert who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks; Lt. Jeffrey R. Vignery, the co-pilot of EP-3 plane downed in China; NASCAR driver Bobby Hillin Jr.; golfer Paul Azinger; and many more.

According to the committee members, who remain anonymous, this year’s audience is sure not to be disappointed with the speaker or the program.

Musicians who have participated have included former Miss America Tara Dawn Christensen; former Miss Virginia Meghan Shanely; Steve Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers; Staci Wallace; and more.

Those attending the Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast in past years have included City Council members, the former governor of Virginia, the lieutenant governor and attorney general, state senators and delegates, School Board members, business leaders and high school student leaders.

Tickets for the Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast are on sale now. They will be available at the Farmers Bank Hillpoint Branch, located at 3100 Godwin Blvd. Businesses may purchase a table of eight for customers and/or employees for $120. Individual tickets may also be purchased for $15 per person. It is recommended that tickets be purchased as early as possible.