JEFFERSON CITY – Lawmakers and citizens will gather for what has become a Jefferson City tradition when Concord Baptist Church, in conjunction with the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) Christian Life Commission, hosts the 15th annual Prayer Service for Missouri Government Leaders, Jan. 8 at 9 a.m. The event always marks the first day of each new session of the General Assembly.
“We will be seeking God’s blessing for Missouri’s legislative, executive and judicial leadership,” said Monte Shinkle, Concord’s senior pastor, former president of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) and a member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee.
The event is based on the writing of the Apostle Paul to Timothy in 1 Tim. 2:1-3, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” The 50-minute service is a combination of preaching, special music and prayers for Gov. Mike Parson, his family and members of the executive branch, the Missouri House of Representatives, the Missouri Senate and Missouri Supreme Court.
Captain Jose Rondon, a chaplain at Fort Leonard Wood who – as reported previously in The Pathway – has seen thousands of Army trainees and soldiers at his base profess faith in Christ during the past year, is this year’s guest speaker and will deliver the charge to lawmakers and staffs. Originally from Venezuela, he came to faith in Christ in the 1990s through the witness of an International Mission Board missionary. Later, he immigrated to South Carolina, where he attended a Southern Baptist college – North Greenville University – and later he worked on master’s and doctoral degrees at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He became a United States Citizen in 2010 and a year later joined the military with the hopes of becoming a chaplain.
Special music will be provided by vocalists Brad Newbold, Ginger Pitcher and Cindy Bauman and accompanist Debbie Poire, all members of Concord.
Among those praying will be John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, for the governor and executive branch; Sophia Palmeri, a high school senior, for the Missouri Senate; Keith Carnahan, senior pastor of Maranatha Baptist, St. Robert, for the Missouri House; and Jeff Voepel, pastor of Emerson Baptist Church, for the Missouri Supreme Court.
Scripture reading and an opening prayer will be offered by Jon Nelson, pastor of SOMA Community Church, Jefferson City, and first vice president of the MBC. Concord member Gary Miller will lead in the Pledge of Allegiance, while World War II veteran Larry Poire, also a Concord member, will offer the benediction. Concord’s John Forsythe will serve as master of ceremonies. A large number of statewide officeholders, lawmakers, legislative staff and leaders of Missouri’s judiciary will attend. The service is free and the public is encouraged to participate.