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Pastors' Prayer Breakfast to mark onset of bringing races, denominations together

By Staff
BECOMING ONE IN CHRIST The Rev. Milford Gamble of Liberty Church, left, and the Rev. Dr. Charles Johnson of Fitkins Memorial Church of the Nazarene are among a group of Meridian clergymen dedicated to strengthening racial ties in the community. A Pastors' Prayer Breakfast will take place Thursday at Fitkins Memorial, bringing pastors together for a time of food and fellowship. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Ida Brown/religion editor
Jan. 12, 2002
For more than half a century, a number of civil rights and religious leaders have proclaimed Sunday's 11 a.m. worship service as "the most segregated hour in America."
A group of Meridian ministers hope to dispel that belief through example.
A Pastors' Prayer Breakfast will be held at 6:30 a.m. Thursday at Fitkins Memorial Church of the Nazarene. A follow-up to November's "Grace is Greater than Race" Unity Service, the breakfast is open to all pastors in the community.
In addition to food and fellowship, the breakfast will feature two speakers: Charles Doty, president and chief executive officer of Lextron Corp. in Jackson, and Dr. Sam Bruce, president of Wesley Bible College in Florence.
Doty and Bruce are board members of Mission Mississippi, a nonprofit organization that sponsors and coordinates opportunities for people of different denominations and races to meet, get to know each other and serve the Lord together through gatherings such as prayer breakfasts, monthly pastors' fellowship, retreats and clergy appreciation banquets, partnership picnics, ladies' fellowship retreats and youth rallies and retreats.
Doty and Bruce will discuss God's work in their lives and how they are working as friends to create bonds of unity and fellowship in their community. The speakers' presentation will begin at 7:15 a.m. and will end before 8.
Organizers hope the prayer breakfast will generate interest in organizing a local chapter of Mission Mississippi. And, most important, they hope it will encourage more fellowship between pastors.
Such unions could mark the beginning of a healing between the community's races, Johnson said.
The Rev. Milford Gamble of Liberty Church, which sponsored the "Grace is Greater than Race" Unity Service in 2000, agrees the breakfast could be a positive influence in establishing unity among the community's pastors and churches.
There is no charge for the Pastors' Prayer Breakfast, however donations are encouraged. For more information, contact the Rev. Earl T. Wheatley Jr. at NorthPark Church, 482-1322, or the Rev. Dr. Charles Johnson at Fitkins Memorial Church of the Nazarene, 485-9811. Fitkins Memorial is at 1110 38th Ave.