In April of 1935, business executives in Seattle, Washington, met together to face a critical situation in the life of their city. Looking for ways to deal with the tensions and fractures that often accompany public life, they turned to the 2,000-year-old story of Jesus of Nazareth—at a meal. According to the Biblical record in John 21, Jesus invited a few of his friends to join him on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias. At this breakfast he demonstrated the generosity of God with an abundant catch of fish; the love of God in his reconciliation with Peter who had denied him; and the transcendent importance of gathering together to eat, fellowship and pray.
As the Seattle executives continued to meet regularly, a new vision of a life of usefulness was born. Their resolve grew to serve as agents of reconciliation in their personal lives and in their business communities. A concern for the poor and oppressed people of their city and beyond developed among them. Over the months and years that followed, as they told others of how much this small group meant to them, other breakfast groups sprang up throughout the state of Washington, southward to San Francisco, eastward to Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston and then in 1942 toWashington, D.C. The event began in Harrisonburg as the Mayors Prayer Breakfast in 1962.
Today, this simple idea of people meeting together for mutual - encouragement and fellowship in order to find “the better way” has become the basis for small groups in over one hundred and eighty countries on every continent.
With the teaching, principles and person of Jesus of Nazareth at the center, this ancient idea has spread spontaneously and at an incredibly rapid rate to meet the long felt need of men and women at all levels of society in our modern world. People are finding understanding, confidence and hope for the future through a deepening relationship with Jesus and in discovering the secret of true brotherhood with their fellowmen.
For over 50 years the Shenandoah Valley Prayer Breakfast, formerly the Leadership Prayer Breakfast and the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, has helped to unite the community in the spirit of prayer and love for Jesus Christ.
Thought from our Leaders
It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe,
without the agency of a Supreme Being.
I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by Himself, to be the
most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been
preached to man. I adhere to the principles of the first age.
Being a humble instrument in the hands of our heavenly Father,
I desire that all my words and acts may be according to His will;
and that it may be so, I give thanks to the Almighty, and seek
His aid. When any church will inscribe over its altars as its sole
qualification for membership the Savior’s condensed statement
for the substance of both law and gospel, “Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind,” and “...thy neighbor as thyself,” that church will I
join with all my heart and soul.
Almost every man who has by his life-work added to the sum
of human achievement of which the race is proud, almost every
such man had based his work largely upon the teachings of the
Men will either be governed by God or ruled by tyrants.
Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants
-Lev. 25:10, as inscribed on the Liberty Bell
If we work upon marble, it will perish. If we work upon brass,
time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust.
But, if we work upon men’s immortal minds, if we imbue them
with high principles, with the just fear of God, with love of
their fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something which
no time can efface and which will brighten and brighten to all