Battle Creek Michigan

2006 Community Prayer Breakfast


History of the
Prayer Breakfast

Now in its 25th year, the Community Prayer Breakfast is a reaffirmation that people of goodwill, standing together for a common purpose, can transcend racial, geographical, and cultural differences to create opportunities for community progress.

The Community Prayer Breakfast was started back in 1982 by Dr. Russell Mawby and Dr. Paul Gieser.  Mawby was inspired by the National Prayer Breakfast that had been held in Washington D.C. since the 1950’s and wanted to adopt the idea and have a community prayer breakfast in Battle Creek. 


Mawby saw this as an opportunity for various members of different churches and people of faith within the community to come together and share a basic faith.



"This is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together, share that faith, to become acquainted and to think together about the needs of the community and its future.  It is simply an opportunity for people of faith to come together, to unite and share." stated Mawby.

Mawby and Gieser met with Commander Ben Gomez from the Federal Center who had been putting on a prayer breakfast for the Federal Center employees for a number of years.  From these three men, the Community Prayer Breakfast was born.

The very first Community Prayer Breakfast was held in the Branson Ballroom at McCamly Plaza Hotel with about 470 people in attendance. The event soon outgrew the Branson Ballroom and was moved to the Kellogg Arena where more than 1,200 people including 300-400 youth attend every year.


There have been some traditions that have been passed down through the years setting the format and standards for the Breakfast.  One, being the selection of a chairperson each year.  Mawby and Gieser wanted the chairperson to be a local, visible leader, someone who is held in high regard.  Setting this standard as the first chairperson for the first Community Prayer Breakfast in 1982 was William LaMothe, CEO of the Kellogg Company at the time. 


The format for the program itself was to always involve local musicians, young people and having a broad representation of the community throughout the program. Included in the program are readings from the Old and New Testament of the Bible, a prayer for fellowship and a prayer for family, community, state, nation and world.  There are several musical numbers throughout the program but only "Amazing Grace" has become the traditional closing hymn with everyone joining in to sing the last two verses.


Every year a guest speaker is invited to bring a message of faith and inspiration to the community.  Tony Campolo of Eastern College was the first guest speaker to bring this inspirational message to the breakfast. 

In 1990, "This I Believe" segment was added to the program. This segment is a statement of personal faith by individuals in the community. Mawby was the first to participate in this segment.   Another aspect that changed was instead of having a woman or a man as chairperson of the Breakfast, they started having a husband and wife team as co-chairs. Thus indicating the importance of faith in the family.

Every year the breakfast is spearheaded by a number of volunteers throughout the community, who are people of faith dedicated to bringing the community together through this event. The Breakfast has become an appreciated tradition over the years with the hopes that it will be carried on keeping the basic purpose in mind of sharing of faith and respecting each person’s individual faith.

“One of the messages of the Community Prayer Breakfast is that the spiritual side is a part of the life of each of us and we’re anxious to see the spiritual side of people who are in government, education, business, and in all walks of life.  We don’t necessarily see or know about the spiritual side of the jeweler, or plumber or fireman or police officer.  This is an opportunity to see that side of their lives as well,” said Mawby.


The information below is included for historical purposes only. For current speakers, pricing, etc, please return to the Community Prayer Breakfast Home Page!

The 2005 Community Prayer Breakfast guest speaker will be veteran broadcast and print journalist Cal Thomas.

Please join us on Tuesday, May 10 from 7:25 to 9:00 a.m. at the Kellogg Arena in downtown Battle Creek.  Breakfast tickets are $10 per person and may be obtained by calling (269) 969-2194 or the Community Box Office (269) 441-2710. 

While the ticket cost has remained at $10 per person for 24 years, the actual cost per person has nearly doubled.

Those wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to help underwrite the event costs and to provide an opportunity for area high school students to attend at no cost to them may send a check payable to BCCF/Community Prayer Breakfast to: The Community Prayer Breakfast, P.O. Box 4363, Battle Creek, MI 49016-4363.

Those who donate $200 or more will receive two tickets to a reception in honor of Mr. Thomas at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation the evening before the Breakfast.

Please contact Pam Hurley at 269-969-2142 for more information.

Or visit


Those wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to help defray the hosting and student-sponsorship costs may send a check made out to BCCF/Community Prayer Breakfast to:

The Community Prayer Breakfast,
P.O. Box 4363
Battle Creek, MI 49016-4363.

Heather and Mike Larson, Co-chairs
(269) 962-9538


Back to the main page of the 2004 Community Prayer Breakfast



2005 Prayer Breakfast

2004 Community Prayer Breakfast

2003 Community Prayer Breakfast (Dr. Laura)

Community Prayer 2002 Breakfast Invitation

Visit the 2002 Prayer Breakfast online

Visit the 2001 Prayer Breakfast online

Back to the top

Web design by Maggie LaNoue

Albion Design

Albion Home Page

Albion Michigan Church Directory

Albion Michigan Ministerial Association

Jackson Michigan Church Directory

Community Prayer Breakfast Web site courtesy of Albion Design.
Marketing, web pages and more.

Back to the top