The 30th annual Cobb County Prayer Breakfast was inside a packed John Williams Ballroom and drew nearly 1,000 people to celebrate God’s work.
Sponsored by a number of local businesses, the prayer breakfast featured the Turner Chapel Church Choir and a number of speakers, including Tip Top Poultry President Robin Burruss, Lockheed Martin General Manager Shan Cooper, Daniell Middle School Principal David Nelson, Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn and Ken Crosson, owner of Crosson Law Group.
The Turner Chapel choir sang “God Bless America,” “It Is Well” and other songs as the crowd listened in, clapping along to the more upbeat tunes. Gospel singer Babbie Mason also performed with the choir.
Prayer for nation, state, Cobb and schools
In order, speakers prayed for the nation and state, for the Cobb community and for local schools.
Burruss served as master of ceremonies for the event.
“It’s never too late to call on Jesus,” he said. “We’ll see a better day I’m sure.”
Many of the speakers talked about the struggles facing the world today. Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley read headlines from the Marietta Daily Journal detailing prostitution, gang violence, corruption and global conflict, among other issues.
“We only have to read our local newspaper or listen to the radio to know there is more work to be done,” she said.
Staley listed organizations such as the Salvation Army and Alcoholics Anonymous that provide help. She said that while the National Day of Prayer was begun in the 1980s, it really dates to 1776.
Shan Cooper talked about the all-important role God plays in her life.
“God is my everything,” she said. “He’s my joy, he’s my peace.”
She said the nation needs prayer because of these issues, as well as ethical, moral and religious decline in the country.
Nelson, the middle school principal, talked about his views on prayer.
“I’ve always believed the Lord has a purpose for everyone,” he said, adding he hopes his interactions show Christ is in him.
Nelson talked about the challenges faced by schoolchildren. He said students coming to school hungry because of poverty, or students who go home to houses with inadequate heat or air conditioning, often struggle to learn.
“When you’re hungry,” he said, “It’s hard to focus on learning.”
Parents also are under tremendous stress even in the best of situations, Nelson said. They have to balance work and personal commitments, while still trying to stay involved in their kids’ schools. Students face pressure to perform well in school and on tests at very young ages, and he thinks they participate in too many activities at times.
“Allowing kids to be kids is very important,” he said.
At the end of the program, attorney Ken Crosson told the story of how his wife nearly died because of a ruptured artery. Doctors thought she would never wake up after losing consciousness. But after friends and family prayed for mercy, she amazed physicians by making a full recovery.
One of the doctors told Crosson her miraculous recovery was due to “the work of the great physician.”
Organizers of first Cobb prayer event honored
The very first Cobb prayer breakfast was almost exactly 30 years ago, on May 16, 1985, at the Cobb Civic Center. Many of the organizers and speakers of that first event were honored Thursday, including Vinings Bank Executive Vice President Joe Daniell, developer John Williams, former Cobb Commission Chairman Earl Smith, former Governors Roy Barnes and Joe Frank Harris, as well as Mason.
After the program ended, Howard Cox, MUST Ministries development officer, shared his thoughts on the event.
“I enjoyed the layout, praying for our country, state and schools,” he said. “Anything can be done by God’s power. Prayer is an awesome (thing).”
He was especially touched by the story Crosson shared about his wife’s recovery when doctors thought there was no hope.
“Stick with God and he’ll walk you through it,” he said.