Date set for the 40th Annual Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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The date for the 40th Annual Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast has been set for Thursday, May 2, at 7 a.m. Tickets went on sale Monday, April 1, at the Suffolk Visitor Center, 524 N Main St, Suffolk.

This event usually takes place on the first Thursday in May concurrently with the National Day of Prayer and will be held again this year on The National Day of Prayer.

Because of the importance of coming together for this event and the great need for prayer in our Country today more than ever for our families, our City, our State, our Nation, and the world, it is time to come together to thank God and to pray.

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The Leadership Prayer Breakfast is a sellout each year. Originally held in October during Peanut Fest, 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 70 years ago to seek God’s guidance and reaffirm their Faith in God, His plan, and His purposes. It continues to be held annually in Washington, D.C., hosted by members of Congress. Each year, the President of the United States attends, and he is always a participant in the program. Every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in the annual event.

Also, Virginia State leaders have met in Richmond for many years for the Annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast with the Governor of Virginia, which is held on the morning of the opening day of the VA General Assembly. These events, as well as the Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast, are part of the National Prayer Breakfast movement, and their format is typically identical to that of the National Prayer Breakfast held annually in Washington, in which the President participates.

Like the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, the speaker and music for the Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast are usually kept a secret. Speakers have included such notables as Virginia Governors, Lt. Governors, and Attorneys General of Virginia as well as Millard Fuller, Founder of Habitat for Humanity; Steve Saint of the movie End of the Spear;
Lieutenant General Jerry Boykins, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence; Holly McClure, film Producer; Maurice Watkins, U.S. Olympic BoxingCoach; heroes from the war in Iraq were honored on the program; Bill Fanos and Mark Ruppert, New York Firefighters from September 11th World Trade Center attacks. Lieutenant Jeffrey R. Vignery theCo-pilot of EP-3 Plane Downed in China; David L. Cook; John Guest; Tony Evans; Bobby Hillin, Jr. NASCAR Driver; Paul Azinger, PGA Champion; Coach Tom Landry; General Dick Abel, Past Official of the United States Olympic Committee; Adolph Coors, IV; Admiral Jerry Johnson, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Navy; and Bill Bright as well as International leaders Mariam Ibraheem, imprisoned for her faith in Sudan and Seong-Ho Ji with his amazing story of escape from North Korea, just to name a few; along with the more recent speakers to include the Deep Undercover KGB Spy Jack Barsky in 2020, the amazing story of the life and escape of Hien Pham in 2021 and the true story of Benjamin Zazay of Afghanistan in 2022. The phenomenal story of Pastor Pan of China, who led the Mayflower Church out of China for three years, arriving in the United States days before the prayer breakfast just in time to be with us last year, was amazing, along with many other guests worldwide. The 2024 audience is sure not to be disappointed with this year’s selection.

Musicians who have participated have included Marilyn McCoo of the 5thDimension; Tara Dawn Christensen, Former Miss America; Meghan Shanely, Former Miss Virginia; Steve Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers; Staci Wallace, Recording Artist; Susie McEntire Luchsinger, Bob Carlisle, Wintley Phipps, Larnell Harris, Steve Green, Babie Mason, Anthony Campbell and Russ Taff- six-time Grammy Winner, as well as Adam Crabb, one of the newest faces of the Gaither Vocal Band. The phenomenal voice of David Phelps followed by the extraordinary blind singer-songwriter Marlana VanHoose, who brought the Leadership Prayer Breakfast to their feet in applause, as did singer Sandye Whitfield. More recently, the renowned bass voice of the Gaither Vocal Band, Todd Suttles, performed.

Those attending the Leadership Prayer Breakfast in past years have included the Governor of Virginia, Lt. Governor and Attorney General, State Senators and Delegates, Mayor and Council, and School Board Chairman. Board Members and Superintendent, Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Business Leaders and Leaders from the U.S. Military branches and the U.S. Joint Command — Suffolk as well as High School student leaders from each local high school. A student leader from each high school participated each year, praying for the family, city, state, nation, and world.

Tickets for the Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast went on sale Monday, April 1, at the Suffolk Visitor Center, 524 North Main Street at Constance Rd, Suffolk. The Visitor Center is open Daily 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and can be contacted by phone at 757-514-4130 or by email at

Businesses and leaders may purchase tables of 8 seats for $200.00 for customers and/or employees and constituents. Individual tickets are available for $25 per person. The Breakfast usually sells out quickly, so it is recommended that tickets be purchased early to ensure availability. (Exact change is required if paying in cash.) Tickets will not be available at the door.