Approximately 270 participants rose bright and early Wednesday morning to collectively pray in what promises to be an annual event by the newly formed Chino Valley Mayors' Prayer Breakfast Committee.
Los Serranos Country Club was filled to the brim by 7 a.m. with many commenting on the turnout and wondering why so much time had lapsed since the last official event held more than 20 years ago.
“I think the many who attended did not know what to expect and they felt the presence of God and felt it was such a blessing for our community to gather together and pray for our nation, our community, our families and our schools,” said event organizer Sylvia Nash of Chino Hills.
Twenty churches, 26 businesses, officials from at least seven cities and 30 dignitaries were in attendance, she said.
A generous breakfast buffet and hot coffee greeted participants who sat at numbered tables with centerpieces and were welcomed by KTIE 590 radio host Don Dix, followed by the presentation of colors by a joint honor guard from the Chino Valley Fire District and Chino Police Department.
Marissa Valenzuela, an Ayala High senior, sang the National Anthem after which Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills led the opening prayer.
Mayors Art Bennett and Eunice Ulloa spoke about faith and prayer in their lives.
Other speakers were Inland Hills Executive Pastor Audrey Eisenberg, Pastor Victor Ruiz of Living Word Assembly, Pastor Michael Obadja of Abbalove Church, Pastor Dustin Harrison of Calvary Chapel Chino Valley, Pastor Kelly Monaghan of Southlands Church, Pastor Darian Venerable of Upward Call Church, Father Mike Miller of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, and Pastor Jody Moore of Transformation Church IE.
Stephanie Chamani of Chino Hills sang worship songs that inspired clapping and the raising of hands.
Keynote speaker Dr. Kevin Mannoia of Azusa Pacific University commended the gathering for an “amazing resurgence of prayer” and advised participants to let justice be the “agenda” of their lives.
He talked about a sandbox he made for his children that turned into a place of arguing, stealing, and selfishness and used it as an analogy on life. Throwing sand at one another, stealing sand, and bragging about whose sandcastle is bigger are examples of “acrimonious extremes in our self-made sandboxes.”
Pastor Mike Spradlin of Valley Christian Church led the closing prayer.
Participants were asked to fill out a form if they wanted to be added to the notification list for next year’s event. “We must have gotten about 125 forms, so clearly they are interested in seeing this continue for years to come,” Mrs. Nash said.
“We are beginning to start planning for 2021,” she said. “The committee couldn’t be happier. It was a lot of hard work and the community came out and really supported the event.”
Committee members included: Jeannette Fuentes, Sarah Evinger, Pastor Spradlin, Mrs. Nash, Norma Murakami, John Voortman, Mary Faulhaber, Jill Burlingame and Brenda Maleskey.