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The 50th Governor’s Prayer Breakfast brought out hundreds and some basketball heavyweights too!  On Tuesday morning, hundreds filed into the Frankfort Convention Center to celebrate their respective faith under one roof.  Breakfast was fixed for nearly 1,000 people.  The convention center floor maxed out with tables and chairs with a waiting list of 25 more tables desired!  The general public was also invited to participate in this momentous event.  This was Governor Matt Bevin’s first time out in leading this annual worship service.  The nondenominational faith based breakfast is a chance for all to come together and worship under the same principles with propelled our nation to it’s freedom.

Many may have come to see the guest speaker, some highfalutin men’s college basketball coach from some nearby nationally recognized athletic program from Lexington.  We’d hardly heard of the man until this day.  Perhaps you’ve heard of him?  Coach John Calipari was the gust speaker at this year’s event.  He opened up with a great one-liner that had everyone in the room going. He said, “I’m going to try to give you more time than I coached that last game,” a reference to his quick ejection from the Wildcats game Saturday at South Carolina.  He went on talk about why he attends services on a regular basis, “Because I’m a sinner”.  Driving home the fact that, no matter how much money you make or what background you come from, we are all human and make our fair share of mistakes.

Calipari was inspiring as he pointed out former UK player Nerlens Noel in the audience, who now plays for the Philadelphia 76ers.  He believes in treated each person as an individual.  And that belief came through strong in his words and stronger in his daily actions of giving back, “Would I like to coach kids more than one year? Yeah, I’d like to have teams for four years and win every game and win every national title, and we’d all be happy. But I always say, you’ve got to do what’s best for these young people.”  He inspires his players to give back as well.  Noel was not scheduled to speak at the breakfast.  But was gracious enough to stay afterwards take photos with fans and sign autographs.

During the prayer breakfast, Bevin gave the William Cooper Faith and Community in Action Award to Barb and Hilton Duncan of Integrated Community Ministries of McCreary County for serving the needy in Eastern Kentucky for nearly 17 years.  It’s been said that this county is the poorest county in the United States.

William Cooper, the namesake of the award, was inspired to begin a prayer breakfast in Kentucky after having the privilege of attending several Presidential Prayer Breakfasts in Washington, D.C. With Cooper’s vision and under Gov. Bert Combs, Kentucky hosted its first Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in 1965.

The William Cooper Faith and Community in Action Award was established in 2009 in honor of the Rev. William Jefferson Cooper, Sr., of West Port, Kentucky. Mr. Cooper, a man of faith and vision, and was the founder of the Kentucky Govenor’s Prayer Breakfast.

Also in attendance at this event were the 2015 Miss Kentucky Clark Davis and the nationally recognized AcoUstiKats, the men’s A Capella group from the University of Kentucky.  Each of them were phenomenal in their respective singing roles during this year’s prayer breakfast.  Please take some time to listen to the clips we have provided.

If you’re interested in any of this year’s prayer service photos, please contact April at CapitalLivingKY@gmail.com.