Prayer breakfast tickets on sale

Published 7:43 pm Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tickets go on sale Monday for the 32nd annual Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast, which is set for 7 a.m. May 5 at the Suffolk National Guard Armory.

The event originally was held during Peanut Fest in October, but it was moved to the first Thursday in May to coincide with the National Day of Prayer.

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, organizers said.

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Also, Virginia leaders meet annually in Richmond with the governor for the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast. Likewise, the five cities in Tidewater also host the annual Hampton Roads Leadership Prayer Breakfast. These events as well as the Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast are part of the National Prayer Breakfast movement and take their format from it.

Speakers at the Suffolk event have included such notables as Virginia governors and attorneys general; Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller; Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykins, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence; Maurice Watkins, U.S. Olympic boxing coach; veterans of the war in Iraq; New York firefighters from the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks; NASCAR drivers, PGA golfers and former NFL coach, Tom Landry; Adm. Jerry Johnson, deputy chief of the U.S. Navy; and many others.

Last year’s speaker was Dr. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a Christian woman who was arrested, imprisoned and tortured in Sudan for marrying a Christian man and then refusing to renounce her own Christian faith. She was released in June 2014, after six months in a Sudanese prison.

Though members of the anonymous committee that sets the program do not announce the guests in advance, they promise another dynamic set of speakers this year.

Musicians who have participated have included Marilyn McCoo of the Fifth Dimension, former Miss America and Miss Virginia winners, Steve Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers and a long list of Grammy winners and other recording artists.

The event is always a popular one, and organizers say it frequently sells out, with attendees including Suffolk’s mayor, City Council, School Board and other local elected officials; Virginia elected officials, including the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, senators and delegates; business leaders; military officials and high school student leaders from each of Suffolk’s high schools.

Tickets will be available at the Suffolk Visitor Center, located at 524 N. Main St. The visitor center is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and may be reached at 514-4130.

Businesses can purchase a table of eight seats for $160. Individual tickets can be purchased for $20 each.