CORONAVIRUS

Good Friday Prayer Breakfast canceled; recorded service to be released Friday

Former N.Y. Giants running back Lee Rouson keynote speaker in free online video

Bart Woods, facilitator of the Good Friday Prayer Breakfast in Cedar Rapids this year, said Monday the annual prayer bre
Bart Woods, facilitator of the Good Friday Prayer Breakfast in Cedar Rapids this year, said Monday the annual prayer breakfast is canceled and a prerecorded video with featured speakers will be released online at 8 a.m. Friday at goodfridayprayerbreakfast.org. (Good Friday Prayer Breakfast)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — The Good Friday Prayer Breakfast has been canceled in Cedar Rapids because of the coronavirus but will be recorded and available to the public online on Friday.

The program will be available at 8 a.m. at goodfridayprayerbreakfast.org featuring this year’s keynote speaker, Lee Rouson, a former New York Giants running back who is now a motivational speaker.

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday, marking the day of Jesus’ death on a cross.

The online program will include local residents praying for health workers, the military, the media and other areas of the local and global community.

“My prayer is that people would find their peace in God, who never changes,” said Bart Woods, director of the Good Friday Prayer Breakfast. “I think all of us have a God-given desire for peace and joy, and we tend to look in the wrong places for those things. I hope in this time, the one thing that is constant is God.”

Since 2002, the Good Friday Prayer Breakfast has attracted around 500 people to pray for the city, the country and the world.

This year’s breakfast was scheduled for the Cedar Rapids Marriott. Anyone who purchased a $19 ticket for the event will get a refund, Woods said.

Doug Wagner, who hosts WMT-AM’s morning show, recorded a prayer for the media.

Wagner said he is “understandably sad” that the prayer breakfast is being moved online but said it’s an opportunity, too, for people who otherwise wouldn’t attend to experience it.

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“My prayer is in regard for the media, specifically at the this time when people are looking for truth, facts and information that will give them what they need to make their daily decisions,” Wagner said.

The prayer breakfast typically spotlights and benefits a local nonprofit — the Kingdom Community Center this year — which won’t be possible with a virtual event, Woods said.

The new community center is a faith-based instruction and life skills program for middle school and high school students in the Mound View and Wellington Heights neighborhoods.

Woods, who helped start the nonprofit, said he had hoped the center’s programming could begin this summer and ramp up in the fall. But that timetable probably will be delayed because organizers have not been able to fundraise during the coronavirus pandemic.

While the annual prayer breakfast is saving money on presenting the event this year, it still has to pay the keynote speaker, a fee that will be covered by funds carried over from past breakfasts, Woods said.

Comments: (319) 368-8664; grace.king@thegazette.com

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