Fred Lowery, Mike Walker and Dennis Watson are among eight Southern Baptist pastors on the 16-member host committee for the Jan. 14 Inaugural Prayer Breakfast sponsored by the Louisiana Renewal Project.
BATON ROUGE – Fred Lowery, Mike Walker and Dennis Watson are among eight Southern Baptist pastors on the 16-member host committee for the Jan. 14 Inaugural Prayer Breakfast sponsored by the Louisiana Renewal Project.
It is said to be the first inaugural prayer breakfast since Lowery, pastor of First Baptist Bossier City, hosted one for Charles E. “Buddy” Roemer in 1988. For the last 43 years, however, a governor’s prayer breakfast has taken place at the start of each year’s legislative session.
The Inaugural Prayer Breakfast is open to all who want to participate, though seating is limited to space available.
“I believe Governor Bobby Jindal’s agenda is right for this state, and it’s impossible without prayer,” Lowery said. “He spoke in our church twice before he was running for governor. I’ve talked with him several times; I prayed with him right before the election.
“I think Christianity is about life, and as Christians we are to be not just good citizens but great citizens,” Lowery continued. “That means we have to be involved with and care about the values in our state and our country.”
Celebration Church in Metairie has been praying for Bobby Jindal for a long time, said that church’s pastor, Dennis Watson.
“I was in Baton Rouge meeting with other pastors the day after Katrina,” Watson said. “I was in the same room with Bobby Jindal and I sensed at that moment he was the man who could provide superb and godly leadership for our state.
“I believe in him as a person, as a Christian, and he has asked for the counsel and support of Christian leaders throughout our state,” Watson continued. “It’s a time in Louisiana when we need strong, godly leadership in our state. I believe that Gov. Jindal does want the prayers, counsel and support of God’s people across Louisiana, and that includes Southern Baptist churches and members.”
The Louisiana Renewal Project, organizer of the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast, is a name given to “a reform effort whereby a number of pastors across the state have lent their influence to assist policy makers in honoring faith and family traditions,” explained Gene Mills, executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum, which sent out a notice about the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast.
Though the Louisiana Renewal Project is not formally connected with the Louisiana Family Forum, Mills agreed to use his contacts to spread word of the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast, Mills said.
The 7 a.m. Monday breakfast will follow inaugural activities planned by the governor’s office: A free inaugural family festival on the afternoon of Jan. 12 at the Sheraton Baton Rouge Convention Center, which is to feature booths from each of Louisiana’s 64 parishes. An inaugural prayer service at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13. Jindal’s official swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the State Capitol is set for 11:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14. It is to be followed by a 1 p.m. luncheon for legislators at the Baton Rouge River Center and an inaugural ball at the same location, which is to start at 7 p.m.
The Inaugural Prayer Breakfast is to start with check-in and registration at 5:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at the Holiday Inn Select Executive Center, 4728 Constitution Ave. in Baton Rouge. Doors and the buffet line are to open at 6:30 a.m. The two-hour breakfast session is to start at 7 a.m.
Special guests are to include Gov. Jindal, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, plus David Barton and Laurence White. Barton is an historian, author, founder and president of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that distributes historical, legal, and statistical information, and helps citizens become active in their local schools and communities. White is pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Houston.
“I’m thrilled about the potential that should be reached for our state,” said Mike Walker, pastor for the last 23 years of East Bayou Baptist in Lafayette. “It will be a fresh start, with fresh leadership and the opportunity to capitalize on the possibilities to improve our state, our leadership and our people, to make this a better place to live and work.
“This inaugural prayer breakfast is an opportunity to come together as the body of Christ, to offer strong support and prayer for our government leaders,” Walker continued. “We’re told in the book of Romans to prayer for our leadership, and this gives us a tangible opportunity to do so.”
Other Southern Baptist pastors on the host committee for the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast include Philip Robertson of Philadelphia Baptist Pineville, David Crosby of First Baptist New Orleans, Rick Edmonds of Calvary Baptist Shreveport, Rod Masteller of Summer Grove Baptist Shreveport and Gil Arthur of East Leesville Baptist in Leesville.
To reserve space at the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast, call 800.718.3385 by Jan. 8. A block of rooms at a discounted rate are available from the Holiday Inn Select Executive Center: 225.925.2244.