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God, grits and good fellowship: men unite at prayer breakfasts

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Sherrill Mullis/Special to The Lancaster News

The men’s prayer breakfast at First Presbyterian Church began 23 years ago in 1989 by Brooks Johnson and Steve Williams Jr., Judd Funderburk, Harold Rowell, Charlie Franks, Frazier Kirkpatrick and Harvey Stewart, who are all now deceased, as well as others.

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It’s was just after Hurricane Hugo came through. 

Since I was alone, it was a lucky day when I was invited to attend for a time of good fellowship with other Christian men.

I don’t cook grits very much. However, I can boil water (although I have to watch it closely so it doesn’t scorch).

The cost of the prayer breakfast is $3, which is really a bargain for grits, eggs, sausage, biscuits, cheese, jelly, coffee and orange juice.

We have several professionals on our ranks, including ministers, physicians, pharmacists, bankers and engineers, as well as retired company executives and a few retired professionals. We also have men from more than 10 churches who band together for breakfast. 

It’s amazing what the Lord can do with the money from 30 to 35 men. I’m sure he’s in out midst each Monday morning. Last year, the $3 collected from each member, along with some donated memorials, totaled more than $4,000.

These faithful contributions allowed us to reach out to several worthwhile charities, including HOPE in Lancaster, Lancaster Children’s Home, the American Red Cross, Family Promise of Lancaster, the American Cancer Society, the Shriner’s Hospital for Children – Greenville, the Salvation Army and the Ward Faulkenberry Memorial Christmas Basket Fund.

Another project started in 2011 was delivering Meals on Wheels to local residents and a retirement home.

The breakfast is started by several cooks who arrive at about 4:30 a.m. each Monday so that it’s ready to serve promptly at 7 a.m. 

After breakfast, the tables are cleaned and there is a short, 10 to 15-minute devotion. The speaker may share a funny story or a clean joke – you might even say a “pastor-kind” of joke – followed by a devotion.

We also have a sign-up sheet to list any family, loved ones or friends who may be sick, in the hospital, bed-ridden, lost or in need of prayer.

Each week, remembrance cards are signed by all who attend and sent to nine or 10 people on our prayer list to let them know we have prayed for them.

After a good breakfast and devotional time, the leader reads the prayer names aloud and assigns each breakfast club member two or more names to pray for in the upcoming week. The prayer list is then prayed over by one of our members as a closing prayer. We then adjourn, shake hands and are ready to leave for our jobs or homes by 8 a.m.

We are truly a blessed group of Christian men and I am quite honored and proud to be a part of it.

 

– Lancaster resident Sherrill Mullis is a guest columnist for The Lancaster News.