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National Prayer Breakfast Attended by President Bush (2007)

4y ago

Description February 1, 2007 The National Prayer Breakfast is a yearly event held in Washington, D.C., on the first Thursday of February each year. The founder of this event was Abraham Vereide. The event—which is actually a series of meetings, luncheons, and dinners—has taken place since 1953 and has been held at least since the 1980s at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue N.W. The breakfast, held in the Hilton's International Ballroom, is attended by some 3,500 guests, including international invitees from over 100 countries. The National Prayer Breakfast is hosted by members of the United States Congress and is organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation, a conservative Christian organization more widely known as "The Family". Initially called the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, the name was changed in 1970 to the National Prayer Breakfast. It is designed to be a forum for political, social, and business leaders of the world to assemble together and build relationships which might not otherwise be possible. ("[T]he breakfast is regarded by the Family as merely a tool in a larger purpose: to recruit the powerful attendees into smaller, more frequent prayer meetings, where they can 'meet Jesus man to man.'") Since the inception of the National Prayer Breakfast, several U.S. states and cities and other countries have established their own annual prayer breakfast events. Every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in the annual event, including President Obama in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Each year several guest speakers visit the various events connected with the National Prayer Breakfast. However, the main event, the Thursday morning breakfast, typically has two special guest speakers: the President of the United States and a guest whose identity is kept confidential until that morning. Every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in the breakfast. A partial list of past keynote speakers includes: 1973 Senator Mark Hatfield (R-OR) 1987 Elizabeth Dole, United States Secretary of Transportation 1994 (42nd Annual NPB) Mother Teresa of Calcutta 2005 (53rd Annual NPB) Ambassador Tony P. Hall, U.S. Representative to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture 2006 (54th Annual NPB) Bono, Irish singer/songwriter and humanitarian 2007 (55th Annual NPB) Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute 2008 (56th Annual NPB) Ward Brehm, a Minnesotan who chairs the U.S.-African Development Foundation 2009 (57th Annual NPB) Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the UK 2010 (58th Annual NPB) José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain 2011 (59th Annual NPB) Randall Wallace, Academy Award-Winning Motion Picture Producer/Writer/Director 2012 (60th Annual NPB) Eric Metaxas, author Many of the past addresses by U.S. Presidents to the National Prayer Breakfast are available online.