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The 51st annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast saw near 1,000 people together in prayer.  On Tuesday morning, hundreds filed into the Frankfort Convention Center to celebrate their respective faith under one roof.  Breakfast was fixed for over 1,000 people.  The convention center floor maxed out with tables and chairs with a waiting list of even more tables desired.  The general public was also invited to participate in this momentous event.  This was Governor Matt Bevin’s second 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 which propelled our nation to it’s freedom over two centuries ago.

Many came to see the keynote speaker for this year’s event, Pat Day, a national treasure who sits rightfully in the Jockey’s Hall of Fame. Some came to see the 2013 NCAA Final Four’s Most Valuable Player Award winner, UofL player, Luke Hancock.

During Day’s keynote address, he was brutally honest about his past transgressions while seeking fame and fortune in the horse racing industry. He found his spirituality during a low time in his personal life. That was 22 years ago.

During the prayer breakfast, Bevin gave the William Cooper Faith and Community in Action Award to Lonnie & Belinda Riley from Lynch, Kentucky, for serving the needy in Eastern Kentucky for the last 18 years.  The city’s decline since its heyday in the 1940’s, when coal was king, declined in the 1960’s. Eventually, Lynch would become one of the poorest cities in the state.

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.

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