Over 600 gathered for the 30th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at the Green Acres Baptist Church CrossWalk Conference Center on Thursday during an emotional service.

Before the closing remarks from Tyler Mayor Don Warren, each table prayed for those in need who were listed in a frame on each table.

As the words were read, different tables had individuals moved to tears. There was hugging and fellowship. That included the mayor.

“We are so fortunate to live in a community where we get to do this,” said David Stein, a committee member. “I watched the mayor get tears in his eyes while praying for you, so that was a unique place to be.”

After watching a video of 30 years of prayer on this National Day of Prayer, the Tyler Police Department Color Guard presented the colors and the pledge.

John Weaver from the Tyler Police Department sang the national anthem and prayers for the business community, students, educators, heath care employees and love were read by Jeff Ware, Ryleigh Gossett, a fourth-grader at Grace Community School, Chris Whitmore from Tyler Legacy High School, Dr. John English of Bethesda Health Clinic and Barbara Smith.

Scotty Garrison and Tim Letsch performed “Hallelujah.”

Stein was impressed with the turnout and the fellowship in the crowd.

“As a person who grew up in a secular Jewish home who didn’t get saved until he was 23, one of the scriptures I always loved was where it says, “Jesus has broken down the middle wall of the partition between us.” I always wondered why we put so many in a place,” Stein said before the closing prayer. “But it’s gatherings like this that give me a glimpse and gives us a glimpse of what it really could look like if we took down all of the barriers and all of the labels and we just come together as brothers and sisters of Christ.”

Warren said, “What a great way to start out the day. This has been a blessing to me and I’m proud to be a mayor of Godly people.”

The 2022 event will be held at Green Acres, Warren said. He hopes the new conference center, which will fill the spot where the Harvey Convention Center currently stands, will host the event in 2023.


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John is a two-time national columnist of the year and AP award-winner in Texas and New York for breaking news, videos and sports. He earned the Thomas J. Bulson Investigative Journalism award and has appeared on CNBC's American Greed, FOX and CNN.