Past Prayer Breakfasts

2018 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Songwriter and musician Mark Alan Schoolmeesters opened the morning with a group of local singers and musicians.  Governor Mark Dayton made his eighth consecutive appearance at the breakfast with a greeting and words of encouragement.  We also welcomed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey who gave a greeting. The Hewitts

This year’s theme was “Serving Like Jesus.”   Anyone who looks at Jesus’ life knows that He came, “not to be served, but to serve” and asks us to “Go and do likewise.”  Thrivent CEO Brad Hewitt and his spouse Sue, President of Upworks, led us through a compelling vision of service and inspired us to find out where we can serve.

Gigi Marvin, USA Gold Medalist, closed the breakfast program in prayer.  We had a twelve breakouts where guests could immediately put faith into action from Mentoring, Housing, Hunger to School Partnerships.  Sixteen inches of new snow 48 hours that weekend did not daunt hearty Minnesotans — they came anyway, to pray and serve.

2017 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

The talented group, CityPraise, debuted a new song written just for this event: “This is Jesus” and the packed ballroom of sixteen hundred plus guests were off to an inspiring morning.  Sgt. Suwana Kirkland, Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, led us all in the Opening Prayer.  We enjoyed Governor Mark Dayton’s warm and generous greeting before a hot breakfast.

Following breakfast we enjoyed a moving presentation of actual “Words of Jesus” combined with dozens of artistic representations of the face of our loving Lord. Businesswoman Julie White shared how important it can be to follow Jesus in the marketplace.

Minnesota Prayer Breakfast 2017

Then Regions Hospital Trauma Surgeon, Tom Blee, inspired us with the power of prayer sharing stories of miraculous healing he regularly sees in his role in ER.  Rick Spielman, MN Vikings General Manager closed the special morning with a prayer for our great state and all leaders to live a full life following the model of Jesus!

What a  deep and lasting blessing to experience fellowship, food and prayer Jesus together!


2016 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Tom LehmanThe almost seventeen hundred Minnesotans who attended our 56th annual prayer breakfast had a moving, challenging and encouraging experience of the faithfulness of God in difficult circumstances.

We experienced a special “Unity in Jesus” as we heard from a former refugee, our Governor, the mom of a family touched by cancer and a championship pro-golfer.  Through the fellowship around the tables, our prayers, songs and the well-attended seminars that took place right after the breakfast, there was a common realization that God is present and is eager to help us in our individual “Stories of Struggle and Faith.”

We are thankful to God for the gift of that morning and the way it continues to bless us with new insights, relationships in the Lord and things to be praying together about daily.


2015 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

2015BreakfastOver sixteen hundred Minnesotans, and many more via live-stream, gathered on May 14 to pray for our State and celebrate the theme of “Lifting Jesus Up.”

We enjoyed great music, food and fellowship around our tables and a meaningful program presented by prayerful Minnesota leaders.  Governor Dayton gave a very thoughtful and encouraging greeting.  We were led in prayer for Minnesota’s past, present and future by
a Minneapolis school board member, senior health care executive and a student leader who came to Minnesota as a refugee from Africa.

Our keynote address was by Mr. Robert Doll, Senior Equity Strategist for Nuveen Asset Management on Wall Street.  He pointed us to the fact that in all aspects of our lives, “Jesus is the difference-maker.”  He shared his experience with the way believers had come together in Atlanta, Dallas and New York to effectively to address urgent social needs.  ”Is there a way for us to partner and come together — in Jesus — so one plus one can equal so much more than two in the Twin Cities?” he asked.  (For his complete text, use ‘Contact Us” on the home page.)

The talented Mark Alan and CityPraise performed several inspiring songs during the program.

Immediately following the breakfast, about a third of our guests attended one of the leadership break-out sessions in which we discussed how the life of Jesus can teach and motivate us to meet the great challenges of our state.

Together we “lifted Jesus up” and the Lord, as promised, drew us together in a deep way.


2014 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

2014 KeynoteThe 2014 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast continued the theme of UNITY and had a special emphasis on the diversity of our state.  The event was held on Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 at the Hilton Minneapolis Hotel.

This year’s keynote speaker was David Horsager, son of Minnesota bean farmers and author of the National Bestseller, The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line.  Combining humor and memorable stories with research and insight from a biblical perspective, David’s message focused on TRUST.

Representing the beautiful diversity of the State of Minnesota, the breakfast event featured a variety of musical numbers, scripture readings and video.  In addition, a group of nine men and women representing nine countries offered prayers in their native tongues.

Once again, the breakfast was available via live simulcast to multiple businesses and community groups as well as to individuals across country.


2013_82013 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Once again, the 2013 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast focused on UNITY.  Chaired by the former First Lady of Minnesota, the Honorable Mary Pawlenty, the theme was centered on UNITY through LOVE.  Through prayer, videos, music, and message, the theme of loving our neighbor (the entire State of Minnesota and beyond) was the focus of the annual Prayer Breakfast event.

Heather Flies, the 2013 Keynote Speaker, has devoted her career to youth as a Junior High Pastor.  Heather is a communicator, and in addition to leading the youth at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, she frequently speaks at junior and senior high schools, camps, seminars and retreats both locally and nationally.  Heather has a love for football, country music, the state of Minnesota and nail polish (she has 249 bottles), but her challenge to the audience was for each to discover what it means to “Love the Lord your God….. and Love your neighbor as yourself” by looking to the Author of Love, Jesus.

Music was provided by Matt Maher, a recording artist, songwriter and worship leader.  Currently living in Nashville, Tennessee, Matt has garnered two GRAMMY nominations and release of his newest album “All The People Said Amen” is scheduled for April 2013.

Two unique short videos were created especially for the 2013 event.  Love” was a powerful video message created by world-class talent and visionary, Lucas Baiano and “Minnesota” was a collage of photos set to music and created by Leah Sands and Paul Hjellming, both seniors at Bethel University.

For the third consecutive year, the Minnesota Prayer Breakfast was available via simulcast to a growing number of businesses, communities, small groups, and individuals.


2012 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Continuing with the UNITY theme, 2012 co-chairs Mike & Pam Sime added a focus on Community.  A special breakout session was offered following the breakfast for anyone interested in learning more about how to start or facilitate a small group.

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Richard Foth, Teaching Pastor, Timberline Church, shared perspectives on relationship building and reconciliation, themes which have become central to his speaking and writing.

Dick and his wife Ruth have 4 adult 2012MNPB_021children and several grandchildren.  Most of Dick’s early career was spent working with and around young people.  They moved to Washington D.C. in 1993 to work with men and women in leadership positions as well as the national and international Prayer Breakfast Movements.  Then, in 2008 he took on the role of teaching pastor at Timberline Church in Fort Collins, Colorado while continuing his work with political and business leaders across the nation.

In another arena, Dick is Chairman of the Board of Project Rescue Foundation, an effort dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking globally and the restoration of the lives caught in that destructive web.

Inspirational music was provided by national recording artist Sara Groves in her second visit to the Minnesota Prayer Breakfast.

Building on the digital experiences from 2011, the 2012 breakfast was simulcast to several businesses and community groups.  In addition, a short video about the value of Small Groups highlighted this year’s focus on building UNITY through Community and encouraging people to become part of a small group.


2011 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

The UNITY theme continued at the 2011 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast held on Thursday, April 28th at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel.  The event’s Co-chairs Jay Bennett and Rev. Richard Coleman have been long-time advocates of “Unity in Christ”, which has been at the core of their work together in the Twin Cities and beyond for more than 20 years.


Ward Brehm, entrepreneur, author, and leader in African humanitarian efforts

Ward Brehm, Minnesota entrepreneur, author, and leader in African humanitarian efforts was the Keynote Speaker for the 2010 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast.  In 2008, Brehm was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal and in 2010 was appointed by President Obama to serve as a member of the United States African Development Foundation (USADF).  He had previously been appointed chairman of USADF in 2004 by President Bush and served in that role until the expiration of his term in 2008.  Brehm is the author of two books on his experiences in Africa and continues to serve as an unofficial diplomat, quietly behind the scenes connecting African and American leaders.

Heart of the City Worship Band provided inspirational music and was a perfect fit for the UNITY theme as the focus of their ministry is on bringing racial and denominational unity and reconciliation to the Body of Christ

For the first time, the breakfast was linked via the internet to business locations where employees gathered to participate in the event.  Across the state several groups were highlighted with stories of gathering together in the name of Jesus across political, denominational, business and cultural lines.

2011_MNPB AdlerArt

“Unity” by Sandi Adler

Co-Chairs Jay Bennett and Rev. Richard Coleman commissioned local artist Sandi Adler to paint a representation of UNITY defined as “Clusters of people subordinating sincere and often differing theological and political perspectives to claim unity in the name of Jesus; and through Him transforming lives and communities.”

50th Anniversary

2010 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

The 2010 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast, with former Minnesota Congressman Jim Ramstad and Kathryn Ramstad serving as inspirational Co-Chairs, helped build UNITY in Minnesota through faith and prayer and was the historic 50th Anniversary Minnesota Prayer Breakfast. It was held Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota.

2010 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Tony P. Hall, former U.S. Ambassador to Rome and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee was the Keynote Speaker for the 50th Anniversary 2010 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast.

Music for this historic Minnesota Prayer Breakfast was performed by Sounds of Blackness, a Grammy award winning group. Also performing were renowned vocalist T. Mychael Rambo and the Minnesota Teen Challenge Choir.

Ambassador Tony P. Hall

Ambassador Tony P. Hall

The Breakfast’s keynote speaker, Ambassador Tony Hall, is one of America’s leading advocates for hunger relief and improved human rights conditions around the world. Although from different political parties, Ambassador Hall was nominated by President George W. Bush in February 2002 to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations World Food Programs headquartered in Rome. Ambassador Hall was sworn in by former Secretary of State Colin Powell in September 2002.

Before entering the diplomatic corps, Ambassador Hall served 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio. In Congress, Ambassador Hall was a founding member and chairman of the House Select Committee on Hunger. He also was the founder and former chairman of the Congressional Hunger Center. In response to the 1993 abolishment of the House Select Committee on Hunger, Ambassador Hall fasted 22 days to draw international attention to the needs of hungry people in the U.S. and around the world.

In Mr. Hall’s efforts to witness the plight of the poor and hungry first-hand, he has visited numerous poverty-stricken and war-torn regions of the world. Ambassador Hall has spent time in more than 100 countries ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and was the first member of Congress to visit Ethiopia during the great famine of 1984-85. He has visited North Korea six times since 1995, and was one of the first Western officials to see the famine.

In 2000, Tony Hall became the first member of Congress to visit Iraq to investigate the humanitarian crisis.

Ambassador Hall was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998, 1999 and 2001 for his humanitarian and hunger fighting work. He is married and is the father of two children.

2009 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hilton Hotel, Downtown Minneapolis Minneapolis, Minnesota

2009 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Co-Chairs:

Dennis and Megan Doyle

Theme: The Power of Forgiveness

2009 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Speaker:

Tony Dungy, Former Head Coach for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts

Tony Dungy

At the 2009 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast, Tony Dungy, the former  University of Minnesota Golden Gopher legend and recently retired Head  Coach of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, shared his faith journey and  brought invaluable insight from his many rich and diverse experiences.

Mr. Dungy has enjoyed a long and storied football career at the high school, college and professional level, as a player and coach, though he values Faith and Family much more than professional accolades.  Mr. Dungy coached the Indianapolis Colts to win Super Bowl XLI, but he has worked hard to be much more than a football coach, continually emphasizing and sharing his deeply held faith, and helping people of all ages through his many activities outside of football.

Active in many civic organizations throughout his coaching career, he is an accomplished speaker, including for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  During his coaching career, Mr. Dungy launched Mentors for Life, an organization which mentors to young people, and the Basket of Hope program, which helps patients at the Riley Hospital for Children.  He has supported many organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Boys and Girls Club, and the Prison Crusade Ministry during his NFL coaching career.

Mr. Dungy has also authored or co-authored multiple books, including Quiet Strength: Men’s Bible Study, and Quiet Strength: the Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life.  President George W. Bush named Mr. Dungy as a member to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation in August 2007.  The council consists of government, business, entertainment, athletic and non-profit organization leaders committed to growing the spirit of service and civic participation.

2008 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

March 19, 2008 River Centre, downtown Saint Paul

2008 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Chair: Ron James

Music: International Recording Artist, Giorge Pettus / Featuring Patience Ferguson

2008 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Speaker: Brad Anderson, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Best Buy Co., Inc.


Brad Anderson, 2008 Keynote Speaker

Brad Anderson is a man of deep and abiding faith, and he has played an important role in his company and our community. Anderson joined Sound of Music, a precursor to Best Buy, in 1973 and has helped to grow a small chain of stereo stores to the No. 1 electronics retailer in North America, with 140,000 employees. The company is now expanding into China. Anderson has worked to build a culture where employees can “have fun while being the best” while demanding that “integrity, humility and respect be demonstrated by all.”

2007 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

RiverCentre, downtown Saint Paul Saint Paul, Minnesota

2007 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Co-Chairs: Marc and Alicia Belton

Music: Christine Altamirano

2007 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Speaker: Jonathan Aitken

Jonathan Aitken is a writer and broadcaster.  He is the author of twelve books, including Nixon: A Life (1993); Pride and Perjury (2000); Psalms for People Under Pressure (2004); Charles W Colson: A Life Redeemed (2005), and John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace which will be published in June 2007.

Jonathan Aitken’s previous career spanned the world of journalism, business, Great Britain’s Parliament – and prison.

In 1974, Aitken was elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament (an “MP”), spending eighteen years on the backbenches of Great Britain’s Parliament until being appointed Minister of State for Defence in 1992.  He joined the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1994.

Aitken’s life then changed dramatically.  Having told a lie on oath in a libel action, Aitken pleaded guilty to charges of perjury and served an eighteen-month prison sentence.  Having subsequently rediscovered his faith, after serving his prison sentence he became a theology student at Oxford University.  After graduating with Distinction in theology after two years at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, he now speaks and writes extensively on the Christian faith.  Aitken is author in residence at St Matthew’s Church Westminster; a director of Prison Fellowship International; Executive Director of The Trinity Forum in Europe; and Honorary President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Aitken is now a well-known lecturer and public speaker. Active in prison ministry and outreach ministry, he travels across the world for Prison Fellowship International and Alpha International.  His recent audiences in the USA have included President George W. Bush’s staff in the White House, the Harvard Club of New York, the prisoners of Parchman State Penitentiary in Mississippi, and Christian congregations in Vermont, Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Texas and Washington DC. He has also spoken to large audiences in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and in many European countries.  In the UK, he fulfills over 50 engagements for lectures, talks, debates and after-dinner speeches each year.  Aitken recently was the keynote speaker at the 2007 Australian National Prayer Breakfast.

2006 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hilton Hotel, downtown Minneapolis Minneapolis, Minnesota

2006 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Co-Chairs: Tad and Cindy Piper Music: St. Olaf College Choir

2006 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Speaker: Barry Clayton Black, Ph.D., D. Min. US Senate Chaplain

Barry Clayton Black

Barry Clayton Black, Ph.D., D. Min., US Senate Chaplain

On June 27, 2003, Rear Admiral Barry C. Black (Ret.) was elected the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate. He began working in the Senate on July 7, 2003. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Chaplain Black served in the U.S. Navy for over twenty-seven years, ending his distinguished career as the Chief of Navy Chaplains. The Senate elected its first chaplain in 1789.

In addition to opening the Senate each day in prayer, Chaplain Black’s duties include counseling and spiritual care for the Senators, their families and their staffs, a combined constituency of seven thousand people. Chaplain Black’s days are filled meeting with Senators about spiritual and moral issues, assisting Senators’ staffs with research on theological and biblical questions, teaching Senate Bible study groups, encouraging such groups as the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast, and facilitating discussion and reflection small groups among Senators and staff.

In order to stay informed of the needs of the Senate community, Chaplain Black maintains a program with a volunteer liaison in each office to assist him.  A member of his staff directs this program.
The Office of the Chaplain is nonpartisan, nonpolitical, and nonsectarian.
Commissioned as a Navy Chaplain in 1976, Chaplain Black’s first duty station was the Fleet Religious Support Activity in Norfolk, Virginia. Subsequent assignments include Naval Support Activity, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; First Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan; Naval Training Center, San Diego, California; USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3) Long Beach, California; Naval Chaplains School Advanced Course, Newport, Rhode Island; Marine Aircraft Group THIRTY-ONE, Beaufort, South Carolina; Assistant Staff Chaplain, Chief of Naval Education and Training, Pensacola, Florida; and Fleet Chaplain, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia.

As Rear Admiral, his personal decorations included the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two medals), Meritorious Service Medals (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (two awards), and numerous unit awards, campaign, and service medals.
Chaplain Black is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and an alumnus of Oakwood College, Andrews University, North Carolina Central University, Eastern Baptist Seminary, Salve Regina University, and United States International University.  In addition to earning Master of Arts degrees in Divinity, Counseling, and Management, he has received a Doctorate degree in Ministry and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology.  Chaplain Black has been selected for many outstanding achievements.  Of particular note, he was chosen from 127 nominees for the 1995 NAACP Renowned Service Award for his contribution to equal opportunity and civil rights.  He received the 2002 Benjamin Elijah Mays Distinguished Leadership Award from The Morehouse School of Religion.  In 2004, the Old Dominion University chapter of the NAACP conferred on him the Image Award, “Reaffirming the Dream – Realizing the Vision” for military excellence.

Chaplain Barry C. Black is married to the former Brenda Pearsall of St. Petersburg, Florida. They have three sons: Barry II, Brendan, and Bradford.

2005 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul, Minnesota

2005 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Chairs: Robert K. McCrea and Polly Nason McCrea

Minnesota Prayer Breakfast 2005 Speaker: Bill George, Author, The New York Times Bestseller “Authentic Leadership-Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value” in addition; Professor, Harvard Business School, “The 25 Most Influential Business People of the Last 25 Years” — PBS-TV, Chairman, The Center for Leadership and Business Ethics, and Former Chairman and CEO, Medtronic.

Bill George

At the 2005 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast, Mr. George discussed — in a rare hometown appearance — how faith steered his own career and what role faith can play in creating ethical corporate cultures.

The 2005 Prayer Breakfast also welcomed Governor Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, and featured a dramatic reading by Old Log Theatre founder and director Don Stolz, and music by the 72-voice Northwestern College Chior.

NW College Chior

2004 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minnesota Prayer Breakfast 2004 Speaker: Benjamin S. Carson, M.D

Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson at the 2004 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr. had a childhood dream of becoming a physician. Growing up in a single parent home with dire poverty, poor grades, a horrible temper, and low self-esteem appeared to preclude the realization of that dream. But, today, he is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, a position he has held since 1984 at age 33. He is a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics.

In 1987, Dr. Carson gained world-wide recognition as the principal surgeon in the 22-hour separation of the Binder Siamese twins from Germany. In 1997, Dr. Carson was the primary surgeon in the team of South African and Zambian surgeons that separated type-2 vertical craniopagus twins (joined at the top of the head) in a 28-hour operation. It represents the first time such complexly joined twins have been separated with both remaining neurologically normal.

He is noted for his use of cerebral hemispherectomy to control intractable seizures as well as for his work in craniofacial reconstructive surgery, achondroplasia (human dwarfism), and pediatric neuro-oncology (brain tumors).

Today, Ben Carson, M.D., operates on more than 300 children every year at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland. He is sought out around the world for his expertise in separating conjoined twins and conducting brain surgery to control seizures, with an emphasis on the use of cerebral hemispherectomies, in which half of the brain is removed to stop intractable seizures. A recipient of numerous awards and honors, the author of three popular books, and the co-founder, with his wife Candy, of a non-profit organization to help hard-working youth fund a college education, he enjoys a life rich in accomplishments and deep satisfaction. His life today is far removed from its beginning in the inner cities of Detroit and Boston. It has been of his own making, thanks to a mother and a host of individuals who expected the very best from him.

Dr. Carson is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including more than 20 honorary doctorate degrees. He is a member of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, and many other prestigious organizations. He sits on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation, the Yale Corporation which is the governing body of Yale University, and America’s Promise. In addition to his academic responsibilities, he is a highly regarded and requested motivational speaker who has addressed varied audiences from high school graduations to the keynote address at the 1997 President’s National Prayer Breakfast. He is president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. He hopes this program will positively change the perception of high academic achievers among their peers across our nation.

His three books, Gifted Hands, THINK BIG, and most recently The Big Picture, provide inspiration and insight for leading a successful life. He believes strongly in God and in America and believes that we all can play a positive role in creating a better world.

With groups of all ages, Ben Carson, M.D., shares the philosophies that have enabled him to overcome obstacles in his personal, professional, and spiritual life. The lessons he has learned about himself and the world have enabled him to leave behind a life of poverty in America’s inner cities for that of a successful and highly respected surgeon, businessman, and motivational speaker.

In boardrooms, school auditoriums, books, and churches, Dr. Carson tells his audiences that the keys to a life of satisfaction, accomplishment, and peace lie in one’s ability to discover his or her potential for excellence; the acquisition of knowledge to develop it; and a willingness to help others. Education, he says, is liberation.

He introduces young people to the wealth of opportunities and lifestyles that exist in intellectual pursuits, far beyond the narrow worlds of sports and entertainment, so mistakenly glorified in today’s celebrity culture of TV, movies, and popular music. He calls upon us all to strive for excellence and recognize our God-given abilities.

Dr. Carson has been married to Candy Carson for 26 years and has three sons. His wife and sons comprise the Carson Four, an accomplished string quartet. And yes, his mother, Sonya Carson, who made all this possible, is alive and well. To learn more about Dr. Ben Carson, visit his website at Committee 2004

2003 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Touchstone Energy Place at River Centre

175 West Kellogg Boulevard

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Co-Chairs: Bill Hogan and Shadra Hogan

Minnesota Prayer Breakfast 2003 Speaker: Kent Amos

Kent Amos started down the path to success, serving his country as a member of the U.S. Army and on to corporate America where he became an executive with Xerox Corporation. Beginning in 1982, his path began to diverge from the upwardly mobile climb to one of service to children and the community. He and his wife Carmen began opening their hearts and their homes to dozens of teenagers, mostly from the District of Columbia, providing a structured environment, respect, discipline, high expectations, a sense of family, and plenty of encouragement. It worked. Seeing the vast majority of his kids become solid and contributing members of their communities, tempered by the heartbreak of losing several, gave Mr. Amos an ever-expanding vision of what could be accomplished and the dangers to children and society of not acting.

Mr. Amos set out to systematically reform the way communities nurture and develop children by establishing the Urban Family Institute (UFI) in 1991. UFI sought to strengthen neighborhoods and families through resources and programs that helped ensure that every child grows up with the close guidance, nurturing, discipline, and support of caring adults that enable children to reach their full potential.

Kids’ House is UFI’s innovative program of neighborhood safe havens run by caring, child-focused adults where children are helped to learn and develop during non-school hours. Kids’ Houses have been established in communities across the nation.

Recognizing the pivotal role of a school in a neighborhood, Mr. Amos saw in the emerging charter school movement the opportunity to meld his successful Kids’ House model and emphasis on strengthening neighborhoods with a traditional school framework. UFI gave way to Community Academy Public Charter School, one of the leading charter schools in the District of Columbia and a model for charter schools nationwide. Community Academy incorporates Mr. Amos’ vision and the UFI values and philosophy in a vigorous academic program that helps children acquire the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Now entering its fifth year of operation, Community Academy has been nominated for numerous awards. Its School Leader was named 2002 Principal of the Year by the DC Public Charter School Resource Center.

Widely recognized for his personal work with children and expertise in child-related public policy, Mr. Amos is a noted speaker and has been featured on numerous radio and television shows, including “Oprah.” He and “his kids” were the subject of a cover story in Parade magazine and were included in President Bill Clinton’s book, “Between Hope and History: Meeting America’s Challenges for the 21st Century.” Mr. Amos has served in a leadership capacity in a variety of community-based efforts, including chairing the District of Columbia 2000 Census, the DC Commission on National and Community Service, and vice chair of the DC Library Foundation Group. He has received numerous citations, awards and honors.

Deepening his commitment to the spiritual values underlying his guiding principles, in 2002 Mr. Amos was ordained a deacon and serves the congregation of Washington’s Shiloh Baptist Church in that capacity and as chair of the Shiloh Community Development Corporation. A graduate of Delaware State University, he is a fourth generation Washingtonian. Mr. and Mrs. Amos live close to their extended family in Washington, DC.


2002 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Chairs: Bob Naegele Jr. and Bob Naegele III

Speakers: Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer

“It’s not the Taliban that put us in prison,” rather the jailing was part of God’s plan to share His love all over the world. Afghanistan aid worker Heather Mercer told a crowd celebrating the homecoming for her and Dayna Curry. “If people hadn’t prayed, we wouldn’t be here.”

While serving as volunteer relief workers for Shelter Now International, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer were charged with breaking Taliban law by teaching Christianity and were arrested and held captive in Afghanistan. During their captivity, America suffered the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the United States began its military campaign against the terrorists in Afghanistan and the ruling Taliban government. Mercer, 24, and Curry, 30, both graduates of Baylor University and members of the Antioch Community Church in Waco, were released in November 2001 as Kabul fell to Northern Alliance and American forces. “It’s not the Taliban that put us in prison,” Mercer told a crowd celebrating their Waco homecoming, but it was part of God’s plan to share His love all over the world. Both women give God the glory for their dramatic rescue, calling it a “modern-day miracle.” They are described as women of “impeccable character and integrity,” who have a heart for the people of Afghanistan and want to use their current prominence to keep Afghanistan at the forefront of the public conscience.


2001 Minnesota Prayer Breakfast

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Touchstone Energy Place at RiverCentre

175 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Chair: David Frauenshuh, Frauenshuh Companies

Speaker: Doug Coe

“A friend and spiritual encourager to generations of leaders in our nation’s capital and around the globe.”