Concord pastor, former MBC president refreshed by National Prayer Breakfast
By Allen Palmeri
February 22, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – Monte Shinkle, pastor, Concord Baptist Church, Jefferson City, came away from his trip to Washington D.C. for the 53rd annual National Prayer Breakfast convinced that there is plenty of zeal within a tangible prayer movement in the nation’s capital.
“Small groups of about 10 are gathering together to pray and to study God’s Word,” said Shinkle, who was seated with his wife, Betty, about 75 feet away from President Bush Feb. 3 at the Washington Hilton Hotel when he delivered his remarks to about 4,700 people.
During the week, Shinkle was an eyewitness to the power of God in a variety of meetings. At the Great Plains Congressional Dinner Feb. 2, chaired by Jefferson City businessman Clyde Lear, president/chief executive officer of Learfield Communications Inc., Shinkle had the honor of giving the benediction for about 120 people from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Barbara Williams-Skinner, president of the Skinner Leadership Institute and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, spoke about the importance of Christians praying for elected officials. Her words helped shape a vision that Shinkle shared with his congregation Feb. 6, that prayer cells ought to be springing up in every state office building in Jefferson City.
Barry Black, chaplain of the United States Senate, also made an impression on Shinkle by expositing 1 Peter 2:9 at a worship service. Black, who served 27 years in the U.S. Navy and was the chief of Navy chaplains before retiring as rear admiral, now ministers to a flock of about 6,000 that includes senators, their families and staff. Black’s ministry is bearing much fruit; a total of 38 senators are meeting regularly for prayer.
“The man has a command of Scripture,” Shinkle said.
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, a large Southern Baptist Convention congregation in Lake Forest, Calif., and author of The Purpose Driven Life, spoke to the Shinkles and about 120 others in a Feb. 3 leadership seminar.
“He was saying the best way for a pastor to combat the world, the flesh and the devil is through integrity, generosity and humility,” Shinkle said.
Practicing what he preaches, Warren now tithes 90 percent of his income and lives on 10 percent. He no longer draws a salary from his church.
President Bush spoke for nine minutes, ending his remarks with a prayer that “as a nation, we will never be too proud to commend our cares to Providence and trust in the goodness of His plans.” Shinkle said the president was in fine form as he continued his practice of connecting with true converts.
“He projects a man who is a genuine believer in Jesus Christ,” Shinkle said. “Among a lot of politically correct people, he’s not always so politically correct.”
More than 140 nations were represented at the National Prayer Breakfast, including presidents from Honduras and Madagascar. Leaders from Fiji, Liberia and Bolivia were also present, Shinkle said, as well as Romanian Baptist leader Paul Negrut.
The Jefferson City pastor made personal contact with such luminaries as Rep. Tom Osborne, R-Neb., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and there were many other notable public figures in attendance. But Shinkle, the 2003 president of the Missouri Baptist Convention, said the fame of those he was mingling with tended to fade into the background as Christians simply fellowshipped with other Christians.
“It was really Jesus-centered,” he said.
Evangelist Billy Graham sent a letter of support.
“I very much regret that my strength will not allow me to return to Washington for the breakfast this year, as I have done so many times in the past,” he wrote. “Our world has many serious problems, some of them critical. We are in great need of a spiritual awakening.”
The prayer breakfast was sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation, an Arlington, Va.-based ministry that, among other ventures, organizes monthly breakfasts for members of Congress. Its founder, Douglas Coe, 76, was recently named one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals by Time magazine.
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., served as chairwoman of the event. Emerson is a pro-family, pro-life Presbyterian from Cape Girardeau.