By JOHN DOWNS, SR
Traditional American values were trumpeted loudly and clearly at the 39th annual Hampton Roads Leadership Prayer Breakfast. Elected officials, business people, retirees, school teachers, law enforcement officers, ministers, and others from all walks of life packed the Chesapeake Conference Center for an early morning gathering to enjoy good food, fellowship and inspiring speakers. As mayors and other elected officials of Hampton Roads’ cities shared their Christian faith, the faithful in attendance were serenaded by talented inspirational singers. The Hampton Roads Leadership Prayer Breakfast Chairman, Baxter Ennis, served as Master of Ceremonies.
The order of events included the presentation of Colors by the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, readings from the Old and New Testaments, and special prayers for the Armed Forces, Public Safety personnel, elected officials, and the business and civic communities of Hampton Roads.
Chesapeake Mayor Allen P. Krasnoff’s spirited and enthusiastic introduction of the speaker set the stage for the rest of the program as he
challenged the audience to “let God use us; we are God’s custom-made work.”
The highlight of the event was the keynote address by The Honorable Allen B. West. West is a former member of the United States House of Representatives for Florida’s 22nd district and is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United State Army. He is also a Fox News contributor, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and he regularly writes for numerous media outlets. His distinguished 22 year military career in the United States Army included deployments in the Middle East during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, where he served as a captain with the 1st Infantry Division.
Colonel West’s inspirational and stirring speech was a reminder of the rich spiritual heritage of our nation and the importance of prayer in its history. With a well-worn Bible in hand, he highlighted a number of examples describing how secularists today are working to drive Christian values from daily life in America. At the conclusion of his remarks he received an extended standing ovation.
Dr. Timothy Lambert, Senior Pastor of Christian Embassy International Church, spoke after West and invited the audience to join in a prayer for Colonel West and his future service to our nation.
The audience enjoyed musical selections presented by Janice Bullard-Ward and Mark Crowe to begin the program and a later selection by Sean Day.
As the program was concluding, Dr. Will Langford, Senior Pastor at Great Bridge Baptist Church, led the audience in an acapella version of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” followed by his closing prayer.
Norfolk resident, Betsy Phillips,summing up the feelings of many as they were leaving, said, “I’ve been to many prayer breakfasts in my life, and I believe this is the best one I’ve ever attended.”
Photos and a video of the program will be posted at www.leadershipprayer.com.