November 22, 2020
By: Dwayne Page
The 2020 Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, made history twice this year. It marked the 50th annual golden anniversary of the event and for the first time was held virtual due to COVID-19.
The prayer breakfast is typically held on the Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving in which community and business leaders come together to pray and give thanks.
Chamber Director Suzanne Williams moderated the virtual program which featured Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
“While we can’t be together in person it is an honor to be a part of your 50th annual prayer breakfast. There is no doubt the events this year from natural disasters to COVID and uncertainties in our community have left many Tennesseans with a sense of unease and feeling disheartened. Hebrews 4:16 tells us we can walk confidently together before God as we seek mercy for our state and ask for continued grace for our nation. As a faith community, we can take comfort in knowing that God does hear our prayers. Today as we come together before the Lord let’s take time to acknowledge our blessings, to pray for one another, to seek wisdom, and give thanks to God for His faithfulness,” said Governor Lee.
Smithville Mayor Josh Miller was the keynote speaker.
“2020 has been a year like I have never seen before. It has set forth a lot of challenges in our businesses, families, and government. Our community has rallied behind others and helped people who are hurting. Proverbs 24:10 says If you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small. We have a lot of people whose strength is not small in this community. We live in one of the best places I know we could ever live and I am thankful for our community,” said Mayor Miller.
The virtual program also featured State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver who performed the Star Spangled Banner; Instrumentalist Susan Hinton on piano, Jason and Ethan Hardwick of Cub Scout Pack 347 who posted colors and recited the Pledge of Allegiance; Neal Kelley, President of Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals who offered a prayer for the community and health care heroes; Kevin Young of Ascension Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital who prayed for military servicemen and women and first responders; Northside Elementary School students Lillie and Miller Williams who read from 1st Corinthians 13; Lisa Cripps of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition and Chamber President who prayed for families and children; Mr. and Miss DCHS Tyzuan Ladet and Megan Cantrell who congratulated the Chamber on the 50th anniversary of the Prayer Breakfast; DeKalb Middle School siblings Annabella and Andrew Dakas who offered a prayer for the schools, teachers, and students; Entertainers Aaron, Thea, and Tom Tippin who performed Aaron’s song “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly; State Senator Mark Pody who prayed and asked blessings for county residents and teachers; Chad Ramsey, Pastor of the Smithville First Baptist Church who prayed for the community and its leaders; Ella and Sabrina Kirksey who sang “You Say” accompanied by Graden Kirksey on guitar; local minister Larry Green who prayed for senior adults; and Ryan Vaden, Administrator of NHC Healthcare who asked that the community pray for the mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing of patients and those who care for them. Shan Stout of Ascension Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital joined Williams in mentioning several upcoming events prior to Christmas to close out the virtual program.