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Midwest City prayer breakfast speakers encourage people to answer the call

Guest speakers at a popular Midwest City prayer breakfast Monday ask attendees to live a life of service to others just as Martin Luther King Jr. implored crowds during his sermons and speeches decades ago.
by Carla Hinton Modified: January 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm •  Published: January 21, 2014

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'”

— Isaiah 6:8

— Guest speakers at a popular holiday prayer breakfast on Monday urged attendees to live a life of service to others just as Martin Luther King Jr. implored crowds during his sermons and speeches decades ago.

The Rev. Semaj Vanzant and attorney David Slane each talked about King's legacy of servanthood during their keynote speeches at the 17th annual Midwest City Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast. Theme of the event, held at the Sheraton Hotel-Reed Conference Center, 5800 Will Rogers Road, was “Service Empowers.”

Vanzant and Slane drew applause and standing ovations from the audience.

Vanzant, senior pastor of an Oklahoma City United Methodist Church called The Christ Experience, quoted Scripture from the Book of Isaiah as he told attendees that no matter their circumstances, they could find plenty of places to serve others in need of aid in Oklahoma. He said they could look to King's example if they found the work difficult, but they must not give up.

“This world does not need people who give up when times get hard. This world does not need people who will escape when things get rough,” Vanzant said.

“I'm so glad this Monday morning that Dr. King did not give up.”

Vanzant said the Prophet Isaiah volunteered to answer the Lord's call before he knew what the Lord was asking him to do — a testament to his faith. Like Isaiah, King also walked in faith describing this experience in one of his oft-quoted sayings: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.”

Vanzant said instead of putting conditions on their obedience to God, people should serve no matter how “dirty” the service opportunity or project. He said teen mothers are in need of guidance from mature women, young men are in need of male mentors, the incarcerated need to know the community hasn't forgotten about them, the homeless need shelter, natural disaster victims need aid and individuals caught up in sex trafficking need rescuing.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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