BY HANNAH GOLDFINGER
OPELIKA— Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller welcomed residents, city employees, public servants and others to the 19th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast early Tuesday morning.
After a homemade breakfast, the Lee County Opossum Orchestra kicked things off, then several speakers were welcomed before the crowd.
Fuller said the tradition began with a new mayor and council, and he said they thought it was a good way to begin.
“It went pretty well, so we did it again the next year, and here we are 19 years later,” he said. “Folks, our purpose then and now has not changed. I’m asking for your prayers and divine guidance not only for me, but for every member of the city council.”
Todd Rauch offered the opening prayer, followed by the Opossum Orchestra’s performance of “Cripple Creek” and “America the Beautiful.”
Dr. Nolan Donald, senior pastor at Opelika First Methodist Church, offered a prayer for the city of Opelika.
“This morning we gather, and we thank you for the incredible blessings and gifts you have given to us, far more numerous than we can even begin to recount,” Donald said. “Lord, we thank you this morning for the gift of this incredible community and the people who call it home. We thank you for the leadership you have given us in Mayor Fuller and in the city council members. Lord, and we thank you for the hundreds of city employees who work to create such a wonderful place for us to call home.”
Donald also prayed for first responders, law enforcement, the overlooked city personnel and the residents of Opelika.
“And Lord, as we pray, we will give you all the thanks, all the honor, all the glory and all the praise,” he said, “Lord, we want your will and your way. Far more than a vibrant Opelika that matches our desires, Lord, we want your kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. We want your will to be done. And Lord, we declare right now that you are our leader and our authority.”
Fuller said that he always, in his time with the Lord, prays for wisdom and God’s understanding.
He described the many ways Opelika is flourishing, from churches to schools to entertainment amenities.
“But best of all, great people who choose to make Opelika their home, and we know that people always make the difference,” he said.
He encouraged everyone to have faith and quoted three verses related to faith:
Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace you have been saved through faith.”
Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Kevin Haefner, pastor of Church of the Highlands Opelika, shared a few words of inspiration.
Haefner shared that each of us is designed to impact others using the gifts God had bestowed.
“Relationships matter because the greatest form of living is when your life impacts someone else’s,” he said.
Theo Moore of Hiztorical Vision Productions shared the closing benediction.
“Bless our efforts and unify our hearts in service to our community,” he said.