There have been a couple of changes to the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast this year.
For one, it won't be held at a church. The last four or five years, it has been held at Alice Drive Baptist Church or Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church.
"I'm excited to hold the breakfast on neutral ground," said Chris Moore, chairman for the Sumter Mayor's Prayer Breakfast Committee. "We are blessed to hold it in the Sumter County Civic Center for our entire community. We are blessed to live in a community that supports prayer."
Another new facet, instead of relying on printed materials sent through the postal service or information sent by electronic means, is that the committee will hold a kick-off luncheon for pastors, lay leaders and other church ambassadors March 7.
"We want to meet face to face, have a quick lunch and say here is what we're doing," Moore said. "It's key for area churches to come alongside us and call people to prayer."
Lunch will be provided, so a head count is requested. To register or for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 774-8665.
"We know they are busy," Moore said. "We want to provide the tools necessary to promote the event within their congregations. It's free lunch with fellow pastors, ministers and leaders. What do you have to lose?"
Conducted in conjunction with National Day of Prayer, the annual event has drawn from just under 300 to 400 people and speakers from retired NBA players and CNN news anchors to the daughters of Billy Graham.
This year's speaker is Ken Bevel, a retired Marine Captain probably most known for his role in "Fireproof" and "Courageous."
"He spoke at Shaw Air Force Base before, and he did phenomenal there," Moore said. "Now he can address the entire community."
He currently serves as an associate pastor of assimilation and events at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.
The committee is still working with Bevel to develop this year's theme, Moore said. But sponsorships are available now.
"This is not a making money event," Moore said. "We're trying to break even. Speakers cost between $8,000 and $10,000. We need the support of local churches and local businesses."
Tickets for the prayer breakfast are also available and are $10 in advance. They will be $12 at the door the day of the event.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Sumter Mayor's Breakfast on Facebook or sumterprays.com
Reach Jade Reynolds at (803) 774-1250.
"IN THE NEWS"
Articles and information that have appeared in print or online about the annual prayer breakfast.