by Roger R. Wade
The annual Tennessee Prayer Breakfast is a time for state leaders from all over the state of Tennessee to come together and reflect on the importance of faith in their lives and in their work. This event has been a staple of political and religious circles for decades, and it continues to be a powerful symbol of unity and hope.
The breakfast started with an inspiring musical selection from the Choir Room, a diverse collective of singers who are friends from middle Tennessee. Among the group members were individuals from the Riverside Chapel Church.
Honorable Bill Lee, governor of Tennessee, in a special conversation with Multi-Grammy Winner Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman, called for us to recognize our need for a savior. They shared about the pain of loss and the comfort received through prayers from friends and strangers. There were prayers for Worship, Thanksgiving, Wisdom, and Courage offered by local church pastors.
The Prayer Ministry leader for the Riverside Chapel Church, Debra Bowers commented that “It was encouraging. [The Prayer Breakfast] was an encouraging word and seeing how we all still need to keep coming together, keep speaking the word, and praying together. It’s really not as hard as maybe I may want to make it, but it is just speaking Jesus, telling people your story, telling them about the love of God, and how what God has done for you.”
“It was refreshing to have an entire service bathed in prayer and Christ was lifted up,” said Pastor Tina Carriger, pastor of the First Church of Springfield, TN who attended the breakfast.
“The opportunity to attend the breakfast allowed the Seventh-day Adventist Church to connect with community leaders on all levels in Tennessee. It gives us a presence in our community that we have not taken advantage of” said Benjamin Jones, Jr., president. “I met bishops and pastors and entrepreneurs across the spectrum of Nashville that are anxious to know more about us and we’re anxious to become engaged with them.”
While some criticize the Prayer Breakfast as being too exclusive or politically charged, many see it as an important opportunity to build bridges across divides and to find common ground in a world that often feels divided. Regardless of one’s political or religious beliefs, the Prayer Breakfast is a reminder of the power of faith and the importance of coming together to support one another.