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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

 60th celebration of Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast

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The 2024 annual Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast is Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7:15 A.M, in the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St. Also known as The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, this year’s event marks the 60th anniversary of the tradition.

The National Prayer Breakfast brings people in positions of responsibility from all over the world together for fellowship and prayer. While the breakfast initially started in Washington D.C., now over forty states, including Indiana, host their own annual event.

“As a time of fellowship and prayer, it is our hope that our homes, our businesses, our local and state governments, and our individual lives will be influenced in a positive way by this breakfast,” according to the Indiana Prayer Breakfast’s official website.

This year’s keynote speaker is Manny Ohonme, president and CEO of Samaritans Feet International – an organization with the mission to “inspire hope in children by providing shoes as the foundation to a spiritual and healthy life resulting in the advancement of education and economic opportunities,” according to its official website.

“We are thrilled to have the founder of Samaritan’s Feet, Manny Ohonme, as the keynote speaker at the Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast. His mission for providing shoes for children around the world is inspiring. His personal story is compelling, and his delivery style is engaging,” said Matthew Barnes, the Breakfast Steering Committee chair and the Statehouse chaplain. Barnes will also serve as the master of ceremonies for the breakfast.

An experience as a child planted the seed for philanthropy and success within Ohonme’s life.

One day, a nine-year-old Ohonme was selling bottled water at Rowe Park in Nigeria when he noticed a basketball contest. There was a missionary who was hosting the games, and Ohonme competed despite never playing basketball.

He won and received his first pair of tennis shoes as the prize. The contest gave him the mindset to continue working at basketball and developing his skills enough to earn a basketball scholarship to college in the United States.

Years later, a trip with his wife to visit family in Nigeria led him to start Samaritan’s Feet. While there, he noticed things were the same as when he was a kid – families were struggling and he saw children walking barefoot.

 After the trip, he and his wife officially started Samaritan’s Feet in 2003.

“The Bible gives clear examples of caring for those in need. One such example is Luke 10:30-37, from which Samaritan’s Feet derives its name. Another passage pertaining to care for the needy is Matthew 25:34-40,” Barnes said.

In keeping with tradition, Governor Eric Holcomb will deliver greetings, state legislators will take part in the event and a Girl Scouts representative will participate in the service.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Indianapolis, speaking to Indiana’s leadership at the Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast, and sharing Samaritan’s Feet ministry and how it helps people throughout the world,” Ohonme said.

Contact Racial Justice Reporter Garrett Simms at 317-762-7847

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