300 Attend Holloman's Nat'l Prayer Breakfast
By Staff Sgt. Raymond Bowden, 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 15, 2007
HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Nearly 300 Airmen, civilians and Alamogordo civic leaders including Mayor Don Carroll congregated at the Enlisted Club Wednesday to attend Holloman's National Prayer Breakfast organized by the 49th Fighter Wing Chapel staff.
Master of Ceremonies, Chap. (Capt.) Paul Joyner, opened the breakfast at 7 a.m. with a few words of welcome before Staff Sgt. Charles Echols, 49th Maintenance Group, sang the National Anthem and Col. Mark Engeman, 49th Mission Support Group commander, led the audience through a responsive reading from the book of Psalms.
Attendants were then given the opportunity to partake in a buffet style breakfast although some claimed they were there to seek spiritual fulfillment.
"Nothing is more important than a personal relationship with God," said Tech. Sgt. Brian Dockery, 49 FW Military Equal Opportunity. "This [event] serves as a door opener to discuss my faith and the faith of others."
Mr. Dan McKee, 49 Communications Squadron, said the National Prayer Breakfast gives people of faith an opportunity to mingle.
"It's inspiring to be among fellow believers and to have the chance to talk about your beliefs," he said.
Following an introduction by Chap. (Lt. Col.) Timothy Wagoner, 49 FW chaplain, featured speaker Chap. (Brig. Gen.) Cecil Richardson, United States deputy chief of chaplains, took the stage and elaborated on the Prayer Breakfast's theme of "Lord, Guide and Guard."
"God often guides us in ways we'd never expect - he gets us through those troubling intersections in life," he said. "God is never the cause of a bad situation, but he takes a bad situation and makes it into something good."
Chaplain Richardson used the Biblical story of Naaman, Syrian king and military leader, to illustrate his point. According to the Bible, Naaman was challenged to trust God during a trying time and reaped substantial benefits when he finally did.
"I thought it was very appropriate he choose a military commander from the Bible to teach us a lesson in humility," said Sergeant Dockery.
Sergeant Dockery attended last year's prayer breakfast, also featuring Chaplin Richardson.
"His messages are full of life and have the power to speak life into a dead or dying situation," he said.
After Chaplain Richardson concluded his sermon, Chaplain Joyner invited Brig. Gen. David Goldfein, 49 FW commander, to the podium where he presented Chaplain Richardson with a wing coin.
The event concluded with the Chancel Choir leading the audience through a final song and a benediction by Chaplain Wagoner, who prayed for the President, military advisors and all service members.
The National Prayer Breakfast, formally known as the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, began in 1942 when various members of Congress began meeting weekly to pray for U.S. involvement in World War II.