For over 20 years, busy Turlock residents have diverged from their normal morning routines of gulping down coffee and rushing out of the house to a morning of prayer at the annual Turlock Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.
“It says something wonderful about Turlock that 700 people will come out at 6:15 in the morning to get together with other community members for a prayer breakfast,” said committee member Jim Masden.
“We live in a wonderful country that allows us the freedom to get together and pray,” continued Masden. “We don’t have to read too far into the news to find countries that don’t have that freedom, so it is important for us to recognize that as one of the freedoms we do have and take advantage of it.”
According to Masden, the idea of having a prayer breakfast in Turlock originated after original board member Randy Fiorini attended the national prayer breakfast in Washington D.C. with a friend.
“When they came back, they said that we ought to have this in Turlock and so they formed a committee,” said Masden.
Now going into its 22nd year, the prayer breakfast is set to welcome not only mayor and host Gary Soiseth, but keynote speaker and performer Steven Curtis Chapman.
“We’ve all been fans of his music for years and we have always wanted someone of his caliber as a musician to come,” said Masden.
“Over the last several years, his story has become really what the prayer breakfast is about: how the power of prayer and his relationship with God has given him the strength to overcome some major trials and pains in his life,” continued Masden.
Since launching his contemporary Christian music career in the late 1980s, Chapman has released over 20 albums, 11 of which were certified gold and two of which were certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. He’s won five Grammy Awards, one American Music Award, and 58 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards — seven of which were for Artist of the Year.
“Whether you’re a church person or not or whether you’re a contemporary Christian music person or not, the opportunity to hear somebody like him in Turlock is a big deal,” said Masden.
Chapman will not only share his success with guests during the annual prayer breakfast, but he will also reveal how he overcame the death of his youngest daughter, Maria Sue Chapman, in 2008 through his faith in God.
“He lost his daughter in a tragic accident, but his family still worked through it,” said Masden.
Masden reports that Chapman’s newest album “The Glorious Unfolding” will also hopefully serve as a metaphor for those in attendance during the annual breakfast.
“The message is the God has a glorious unfolding to do in your own life if you let him,” said Masden. “Who knows what he will unfold in your life, but whatever issue you are facing in your own life, you can trust God to take care of it and unfold something glorious.”
The 22nd Annual Turlock Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is scheduled from 6:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on May 15 at the Assyrian American Civic Club.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit turlockprayerbreakfast.com or make a stop at one of the following locations: Canal Veterinary Hospital, Majesty Bible & Gifts, Geiger’s Fine Jewelry, or the Salvation Army.