IRVINE, Calif.—More than 400 dignitaries including civic leaders, clergy, and military personnel filled the ballroom of the Irvine Marriott near capacity early Thursday morning, Nov. 11, for the 56th Annual Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast.
The event, which has been on hiatus since 2020, focuses on supporting America’s leaders through prayer and the reaffirmation of the spiritual values that the United States was founded upon.
It was hosted by the Orange Coast Christian Outreach, a non-profit ministry of volunteers dedicated to “changing lives one story at a time” through compelling and extraordinary stories by regular people that have experienced unique or difficult circumstances which they overcame through their Christian faith.
Master of ceremonies for the event was former County Treasurer, Supervisor, and California State Senator John Moorlach, who introduced each of the mayors in attendance.
On the dias were mayors Farrah Khan of Irvine, Brad Avery of Newport Beach, Mark Murphy of Orange, Fred Minagar of Laguna Niguel, Scott Voigts of Lake Forest, Jamey Federico of Dana Point, Anthony Beall of Rancho Santa Margarita, along with mayor pro tems Wendy Bucknum of Mission Viejo, Ross Chun of Aliso Viejo, and Councilwoman Janine Heft of Laguna Hills.
Keynote speaker Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin, author of ‘Never Surrender: A Soldier’s Journey to the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom,’ told the audience that his faith in God helped him to endure the mental and physical challenges of his remarkable military career.
As one of the original members of the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force, Boykin commended the Army’s Green Berets as well as the Special Warfare Center and School. In all, he spent 36 years in the Army, serving his last four years as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
An ordained minister, Boykin told the audience his passion is to encourage Christians to become warriors in God’s Kingdom, quoting Exodus 15, “the Lord is a warrior.”
Boykin said that at one particularly low point in his life, he felt that God simply abandoned him, but soon realized his mistake and prayed for forgiveness for turning away from his faith. He knew in his heart that God would see him through no matter how bad things got, and that grace would ultimately prevail.
“There is nothing you have ever done, absolutely nothing, that God will not forgive if you are genuinely confessing you need His foundation. There’s nothing in your life that He will not forgive you for,” Boykin told the hushed crowd.
Modeled after the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., which was first held by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, the Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast originated as a time of personal reflection and rededication to God, as well as an opportunity to restore and reassert the spiritual heritage of America through word, song, and prayer.