‘Love One Another’ Community Prayer Breakfast theme
The inclusive Community Prayer Breakfast, now in its 29th year, will be held Thursday, May 2, with the national theme “Love One Another.”
The Community Prayer Breakfast is held in observance of the National Day of Prayer, which is the first Thursday of May. Individuals off all faiths join together in unified prayer every year from sunset to sunrise across the nation attracting more than 2 million people.
The Fort Myers community has honored the National Day of Prayer since 1988. Businesses and organizations, locally, have provided sponsorships and donations to support the Community Prayer Breakfast.
The breakfast buffet will begin at 6:05 a.m., followed by the program at 7 a.m. at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers. Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson will emcee the event, and the keynote speaker is Michael Hingson, who will share his story of surviving the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center with the help of his guide dog, Roselle. The Fort Myers High School Jazz Band will provide music.
“The Community Prayer Breakfast can unite Southwest Florida for one cause,” said the Rev. Israel Suarez, founder and CEO of Nations Association Charities and a founder of the Community Prayer Breakfast, in a prepared statement. “We all have different backgrounds, religious beliefs and political perspectives, but one thing we can agree upon is the need to build a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. Bringing the community together for a day of prayer certainly is a step in the right direction.”
Although the breakfast is free, tickets are required due to limited seating. They are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at CommunityPrayerBreakfast.com.
Community Prayer Breakfast Committee Member the Rev. Dr. Rickey L. Anderson Sr., a pastor of Followers of Christ Fellowship Ministries, said this year they have decided to put up little signs welcoming everyone from the community to attend.
“That way those persons who do not have a ticket can feel they can be a part of it,” he said. “If those persons come that morning off the street that don’t have tickets, they will not be turned away.”
Anderson said he has served on the committee for the last three years, and 20 years ago.
“The prayer breakfast is really vital and it brings the community together,” he said, adding that it’s a community interfaith gathering of people from all different denominations and races.
Anderson, a Fort Myers Police Department chaplain since 1994, said the community needs prayer with all the homicides that are taking place.
“I have been noticing the homicides have been increasing,” he said. “We just need to pray. So many people are hurting. We all hurt. In the community when something happens it affects everyone of us.”
Anderson said he does not know of another gathering that draws so many people across all lines together in a very positive movement. The Community Prayer Breakfast attracts approximately 1,500 people.
“This is inclusive to everybody,” he said, encouraging the community to come out and join the morning of prayer.
City of Palms Park is at 2201 Edison Ave.