Augusta's 100th Community Prayer Breakfast celebrated

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 2:53 PM
Last updated 7:45 PM
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Sintonio Hobbs thought he had a mindset of diversity when he began attending the Community Prayer Breakfasts in 2010.

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Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver speaks during the 100th Community Prayer Breakfast at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church in Augusta on Tuesday.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver speaks during the 100th Community Prayer Breakfast at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church in Augusta on Tuesday.

As he spoke shortly before praying at the 100th consecutive prayer breakfast Tuesday at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church, Hobbs told community members that attending the event gave him courage to step outside his comfort zone on Sunday mornings, even when he was traveling.

“It broke the barrier of diversity in my life,” he said.

Because the breakfasts are held at churches across the community, he finds himself visiting churches such as Trinity on the Hill that are predominantly white, something Hobbs, who is black, would not have been comfortable doing on his own.

Hobbs told attendees that in his experience, Sunday had become the most segregated day of the week, because people tend to worship and socialize with people who “look just like us.”

Following Tuesday’s prayer meeting, he walked through the misty morning to the church’s fellowship hall to enjoy breakfast casserole, cheese grits and fruit along with other community members and faith leaders, something he also said he would not have been comfortable doing before he began attending the monthly event.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said diversity has always been what the breakfasts were about. He began the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast shortly after taking office in 2005.

It was designed to be as inclusive as possible, to offer people of all races, socio-economic statuses and faith traditions to offer prayers for the city and the nation.

In 2010, the breakfast was renamed the Community Prayer Breakfast after an anti-religion group questioned the use of city resources to sponsor them. A group of volunteers took over organizing the event.

Tuesday, Rabbi Robert Klensin of the Congregation Children of Israel offered prayers in the Jewish tradition, along with Father Jerry Ragan of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church, Alleluia Community member Gary Garner, and others.

“The thing that is so heartwarming to me is that you do have people from all walks of life, throughout the city that have established relationships through the years,” Copenhaver said. “I think historically, Augusta has been portrayed as a community divided, but through these prayer breakfasts so many walls have been torn down and relationships established, and it’s built a stronger fabric of the community.”

The next prayer breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. April 22 at Tabernacle Baptist Church.

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gill
71
Points
gill 03/25/14 - 06:57 pm
4
0
Numbers Don't Lie

How many attend each month? How much diversity is present? Do pastors from large(r) churches attend, both black and white churches?

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 03/25/14 - 07:10 pm
2
2
PR
Unpublished

These have always been nothing more than PR stunts for the mayor

story1
807
Points
story1 03/25/14 - 07:42 pm
3
1
Splost Vote

Vote "NO". Don't let the Mayor win this one. There are too many ???? with too few answers.

Pops
14366
Points
Pops 03/25/14 - 07:51 pm
4
1
All these warm, fuzzy articles

will help him in his future political endeavors.....it beats getting a real job and actually contributing........

corgimom
38385
Points
corgimom 03/25/14 - 08:32 pm
1
2
And don't forget, that's how

And don't forget, that's how Deke addresses the crime in Augusta. Through the prayer breakfasts.

Doesn't every mayor do that?

corgimom
38385
Points
corgimom 03/25/14 - 08:33 pm
1
3
I would have no problem

I would have no problem whatsoever walking into a black church, and I don't need a prayer breakfast to do it.

AutumnLeaves
10253
Points
AutumnLeaves 03/25/14 - 09:45 pm
2
1
Neither would I, let me

Neither would I, let me correct that, I have been, corgimom. I've been to Tabernacle Baptist Church several times, and numerous other traditionally black churches in the area for various reasons, including normal services, and prayer breakfasts. It makes me appreciate my church and my faith even more, the church I have been going to for most of my life is the most diverse church I have ever been in or know of and has been ever since we moved here. That is one of the reasons my parents chose it as their home church and why I continue to go there.

dbruker
48
Points
dbruker 03/26/14 - 04:51 am
3
1
Incredulous

How could anyone criticize a prayer breakfast?

Young Fred
21007
Points
Young Fred 03/26/14 - 08:04 am
2
0
Diversity

Don't you get the warm fuzzies just saying the word? Don't get me wrong, diversity is great, sometimes. But it is not the "end all/be all" some would have you believe. Diversity for the sake of merely pointing it out is meaningless.

"Diversity" - I guess it all depends on how you chose to define it. I love diversity in my relationships, cuisine, and art. But when you start to try and define it in an educational setting - that's when insanity tends to start.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 03/26/14 - 08:06 am
0
0
MOTIVE for the prayer, i.e. in the SCOTUS or a political rally
Unpublished

MOTIVE for the prayer, i.e. in the SCOTUS or a political rally

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 03/26/14 - 08:07 am
0
0
Its all politics. Money, power and influence peddling. Not GOD.
Unpublished

Its all politics. Money, power and influence peddling. Not GOD.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 03/26/14 - 08:09 am
0
0
The Race Card. The PIETY Card. Childrens Welfare Card.
Unpublished

The Race Card. The PIETY Card. Childrens Welfare Card.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 03/26/14 - 08:11 am
0
0
100 and ARC still is lying, cheating, stealing, coveting, killin
Unpublished

100 and ARC still is lying, cheating, stealing, coveting, killin

AutumnLeaves
10253
Points
AutumnLeaves 03/26/14 - 09:12 am
3
0
Why in the world would

Why in the world would someone give my post a thumbs down? Someone's feeling peevish this morning. Good grief.

Young Fred
21007
Points
Young Fred 03/26/14 - 09:34 am
1
0
AutumnLeaves,

You probably posted something one time that someone else disagreed with, and you'll get a thumbs down from them forever more.

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 03/26/14 - 09:40 am
1
0
Atlanta PR Firm
Unpublished

Do not forget that this idea for prayer breakfasts at "certain" targeted churches came from the high priced political consulting firm that Deke and his inlaws hired to win his first election. They have been on retainer ever since. This has always been about pr and getting votes from the church crowd

slowrider
179
Points
slowrider 03/26/14 - 10:59 am
1
0
how can we not like a Community Prayer Breakfast?

Really? Even if you question the motive, how can bringing a group of people, 10-100 in number together for a meal, be a bad thing to pray over and for our city?

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 03/26/14 - 11:31 am
1
0
no one said it is a bad thing
Unpublished

but it is a diversion tactic. It is a vote getting and pr scheme. Nothing has stopped churches from holding prayer breakfasts before.. but these mayor sponsored prayer breakfasts are all about using the faithful for political gain and I do not think that is a good thing.

Young Fred
21007
Points
Young Fred 03/26/14 - 01:39 pm
1
0
Butterman

has a point. If intentions were pure, there'd be no need to advertise.

AutumnLeaves
10253
Points
AutumnLeaves 08/05/14 - 02:59 pm
0
0
Young Fred, I think it goes

Young Fred, I think it goes further back than my posting online here and has nothing to do with me, but someone I used to think I knew. That person is the one that should be the target, if anyone. Not me.

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