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14th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Still cannot believe it was 13 years ago when Chip and I first felt led to put this event on for the Irmo Community. God continues to bless this area and we know everyone looks forward to this annual event as the “unofficial kickoff to the Okra Strut”.

Hope you’ll join us again this year at our host church, St. Andrews Presbyterian. Please RSVP and let Desiree know if you’d like to sponsor a table for your group or organization!

This year we will have a mother and daughter share their moving testimony.

Tammy Maier-Scher, a native of Irmo, SC grew up attending Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church and was confirmed there as a teenager. After marrying her high school boyfriend Chuck Maier she attended River Hills Baptist Church where she found herself spiritually led to becoming saved January 1989. Three months pregnant at that time, Tammy felt all the joy and fulfillment a person has when The Lord comes into their heart.

Three months later Tammy found herself deathly sick with a rare blood disorder just 25weeks into her pregnancy. An emergency delivery of the baby saved Tammy’s life but not without creating an enormous struggle for the infant, (named Brittany) who was diagnosed both blind and autistic.

Despite her limitations, at the age of six Brittany was blessed with a God-given gift of music which prompted Tammy and Brittany to begin a journey of life together that led Brittany to becoming the leading savant pianist in the world and whose story won a national Emmy award with WLTX-TV19 in 2001. Having shared Brittany’s miraculous story with millions over two decades, Tammy finds it to be her mission to share God’s gift of Brittany with all who feel His love and power through her.

Brittany Maier was born in April of 1989. Premature by four months, she weighed a pound and five ounces. Even though she was diagnosed blind, autistic, and mentally disabled, Brittany Maier’s amazing musical talent surfaced when she began playing Schubert’s Ave Maria on a toy piano at age six. Able to duplicate a song after having just heard it a few times, Brittany Maier memorized music with no limit to style, instrument, or language it was recorded in. At age ten, after receiving formal music instruction at The University of South Carolina’s School of Music, Brittany began composing her own original songs and she released her first album “20/20” when she was just twelve years old

In 2005, Brittany Maier moved to New York where her talent found a larger audience through television appearances on Dateline NBC, Paula Zahn – Now! and the Montel Williams show. She performed as a guest of honor at Governor and Mrs. Pataki’s Annual Prayer Breakfast, has entertained a crowd of fifty-five thousand Met fans at Shea Stadium, has been welcomed in a countless number of houses of God by religions of all denominations and origins and was recently privileged to grace the hallowed and prestigious stage of Carnegie Hall.

Brittany Maier’s second CD, titled “A World of My Own,” was released through Barnes & Noble stores nationwide in America in 2006. In 2007 her music grew to a worldwide audience when she appeared on German television for Die Show Der Merkwurdigkeiten (“Show of Miracles”). Headlines from newspapers called her “A Gift from God” and “A Musical Miracle” and those thoughts are echoed daily by her fans.

Brittany Maier performs nationally for charitable organizations that raise awareness for autism and many other special needs causes.

The New York Daily News wrote of her: “Brittany is a brilliant testimony to God’s gracious, miraculous presence among us,” then cited her as “perhaps the leading female musical savant in the world.” Dr. Scott Price, from USC’s School of Music stated to Dateline of Brittany’s skills, “To find all of those qualities housed in one person…we start listing names like Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt…”And the opinion of Dr. Darold Treffert, leading and world renown specialist on savants who says “Brittany fits the spectacular, rare, musical genius seen in prodigious savants,” and cites that there are only twenty people in the world with talent such as hers.

Inspiring millions around the world without saying a word, Brittany’s life is meaningful, purposeful and divinely directed. Brittany enlightens people that they can overcome any obstacles in life they are presented with and still pursue their dream. Where her talent will take her, or what greatness she will achieve, no one knows. There is no stopping the power of God, which works its way through and around her, illuminating every audience she reaches. Brittany penetrates the soul, mesmerizes the mind and captures the heart through her music.

For more about past breakfasts (some with video footage), click here .

2018 Riverland Hills Baptist – speaker Jose Alvarez, retired Atlanta Braves Pitcher, FCA
2017 River Springs Church – speaker Dr. Wendell Estep, retired First Baptist Church of Columbia
2016 Union United Methodist Church – speaker Marcus Lattimore
2015 St. Paul AME Church – speaker in memory of Senator Clementa Pinckney
2014 Gateway Baptist Church – speaker Chris Joye
2013 St. Andrews Presbyterian – speaker Shelley Bryson King, Miss South Carolina 2006
2012 Riverland Hills Baptist – Jim “Soni” Sonefeld – member Hootie and the Blowfish
2011 Seven Oaks Presbyterian – Steve Arnold, operator Chick-fil-A Ballentine
2010 First Baptist of Irmo -speaker Adrian Despres, chaplain USC football team
2009 St. Mary’s Episcopal – speaker Eddie Walker, then principal of Irmo High School
2008 Gateway Baptist – speaker Jeff Davis, former Clemson football player
2007 St. Andrews Presbyterian – speaker A.V Strong, director A Better Way, Project Gang Out
2006 Riverland Hills Baptist – speaker Bob McAlister, McAlister Communications

13th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Can’t believe it’s been 13 years! Reserve your FREE seat today by contacting Desiree Watson via email in photo.

Chip and I refer to this event as the “unofficial kickoff to the Irmo Okra Strut!” What started years ago at Riverland Hills Baptist is now back again at the same location!

This event is FREE to attend thanks to the support of our sponsors (who reserve tables) every year! We’re always looking for more sponsors. You’d be surprised how inexpensive it is to support this event and our community!

For information/videos/programs/speakers of past breakfasts, click here .

12th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Can’t believe it’s been 12 years since my friend, Representative Huggins, and I decided Irmo needed something that would far outlast our time in office. Twelve years later the community comes together in what Chip and I refer to as “the kickoff of the Okra Strut” – held every Thursday before the Okra Strut Festival at rotating churches in the area.

This year, we have invited retiring pastor Dr. Wendell Estep from First Baptist Church in Columbia to be our speaker. Many of you may see him each week on TV, but several have not and we wanted to bring him to Irmo for this special occasion.

The event is FREE (thanks to the support of our wonderful sponsors). PLEASE RSVP before September 21st so that we can be sure your Chickfila Biscuit is waiting for you that morning! RSVP to DesireeWatson@me.com or by calling (803) 348-5416.

As always, doors open for breakfast at 7:30 am and the program begins promptly at 8:00 am.

This years’s event is the first one hosted by River Springs Church located at 1007 West Shady Grove, Irmo, SC 29063.

For quick 2 minute videos from past breakfasts, you can click here: 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012 .

This year’s host church is the 9th different host for the event! Past host churches and speakers are listed below:

2016 Union United Methodist Church – speaker Marcus Lattimore
2015 St. Paul AME Church – speaker in memory of Senator Clementa Pinckney
2014 Gateway Baptist Church – speaker Chris Joye
2013 St. Andrews Presbyterian – speaker Shelley Bryson King, Miss South Carolina 2006
2012 Riverland Hills Baptist – Jim “Soni” Sonefeld – member Hootie and the Blowfish
2011 Seven Oaks Presbyterian – Steve Arnold, operator Chick-fil-A Ballentine
2010 First Baptist of Irmo -speaker Adrian Despres, chaplain USC football team
2009 St. Mary’s Episcopal – speaker Eddie Walker, then principal of Irmo High School
2008 Gateway Baptist – speaker Jeff Davis, former Clemson football player
2007 St. Andrews Presbyterian – speaker A.V Strong, director A Better Way, Project Gang Out
2006 Riverland Hills Baptist – speaker Bob McAlister, McAlister Communications

11th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

11th prayer breakfast

Seems like yesterday when Representative Huggins and I sat down to plan an event that we hoped would make an impact on the Irmo Community every year.

Next month we will gather at Union United Methodist Church for the 11th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast!

Doors open and breakfast line begins 7:30am. Program begins at 8am and ends at 9am.

This year’s speaker will be a man who needs no introduction in this area or state: Marcus Lattimore.

We all have followed Marcus’ career and seen him make a huge impact in the lives of our youths. My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11. It’s obvious God has a plan for Marcus – one that is much bigger than a life on the football field!

Chip and I hope you’ll join us, your friends and neighbors next month at the event we have lovingly dubbed “the kickoff to the Okra Stut” ever year.

To RSVP as an individal or to sponsor the event (and have reserved table for 8), please call or email DesireeWatson@me.com, 803-348-5416. Seating will be limited. RSVP today!

FOR INFORMATION ON PREVIOUS PRAYER BREAKFASTS (videos, locations, speakers), click here .

10th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

It’s hard to believe that next Thursday, September 24th, will mark the 10th time Representative Huggins and I have gathered the Irmo Community together in prayer!

This annual event could not be possible without our regular sponsors and the hard work of local churches and their congregations.

Each year we see many of the same people; but every year we see more and more new faces. Each year we rotate the breakfast among churches in the Irmo area and every year the pastor for the host church for the upcoming year gives the benediction. Last year, the benediction was given by the Rev. Dr. Derrick Scott of St. Paul AME Church on Kennerly Road. I visited the church in 2013 when construction on their new facility was just beginning. I’ve been back since then; but am excited that the community will now get to visit and hear from one of the relatives of the late Senator Clementa Pinckney.

Our state should never forget the Emmanuel Nine and the grace shown during those very difficult time.

Please RSVP to reserve your space today (Email dbfulmer@gmail.com or call Dana at 803-807-3339. Thanks to our sponsors, this event is FREE to the public. We hope to see you there!

You can read more about our past Prayer Breakfasts by clicking here to see photos, videos, and more

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2014 Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

2014 Prayer Breakfast Invite

Years ago, Representative Huggins and I wanted to do provide something for Irmo that was missing. Chapin has their Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast and we felt Irmo could benefit from something similar as well.

We continue to rotate among churches in the area and would love to bring to your church in the coming years! This year we’re back at Gateway Baptist (site of our 3rd Annual Prayer Breakfast years ago). Next year, plans are to have St. Paul AME Church host the 10th Annual event in their new facility!

Thanks to the support of our sponsors, we’ve been able to provide the event for FREE to the community the past few years and hope to continue to do so!

To sponsor ($100 for table of 8) or to simply RSVP a free spot for the event, email Mary Lou Stinson at mlbstinson@yahoo.com or call her directly at 351-5197.

This year’s speaker is Chris Joye (too many titles and accolades to list, so I’ll share his most important), father. Chris will share the Mark Joye story. Mark is a recent Wofford College graduate and former standout golfer at Dutch Fork High School.

Chip and I look forward to another packed house later this month! If you’ve never joined us, please click on the links below to see videos and programs from years past.

8th Annual- Program
7th Annual – Video and Program
6th Annual – Video and Program
5th Annual – Video and Program
4th Annual – Video and Program
3rd Annual – Video and Program
2nd Annual – program

Chapin Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

Years ago, I went to Representative Huggings and discussed the need for an Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast and can’t believe this fall will be the 9th Annual one for Irmo!

The idea came from several Mayor’s Prayer Breakfasts we have attended in Chapin , Columbia as well as other events. After a few years’ hiatus, I’m glad to see the Chapin event is back! I received this information earlier today and hope you’ll join me there next month!

Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast to Feature Dr. Tom Phillips of Billy Graham Library

Chapin, SC (March 10 , 2014) Chapin Mayor Skip Wilson is pleased to announce that Dr. Tom Phillips, Vice President of the Billy Graham Library for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, North Carolina, will be the guest speaker for the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast on Friday, April 11 at 7:30 am at Town Hall.

“We are excited to have Dr. Phillips come to Chapin to address our community as we embark on our 14th Annual Community of Character Service Day which occurs on April 12,” said Mayor Wilson. “The theme for our breakfast is For Giving, and we look forward to an inspirational message on how giving of ourselves to help others can make such a difference in our lives and for those around us.”

Phillips has been the vice president of Crusades, executive director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina, and a senior crusade director with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for many years, directing crusades in several cities in the United States and Canada. He has also served as the director of Counseling and Follow-up, working in that capacity in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Mexico, Brazil and the Far East. He has played a key role in the development of current materials and programs.

In addition, Dr. Phillips was president of Horizon College in San Diego, California as well as president and CEO of International Students, Inc., based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1994-2001. He received his Doctor of Ministry and Master of Divinity degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he was formerly a field supervisor for the Doctor of Ministry Program. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi.

The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will be the first in recent years and will include participation by Chapin area ministers as well, including Rev. Jody Flowers of Chapin United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Ben Sloan of Lake Murray Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. Mark Scott of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church and Bishop William Woodard, interim pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist. David Clifton who leads the Fellowship of Christian Athletes program for Lexington-Richland School District 5 will also be participating.

Businesses or individuals interested in participating for the Prayer Breakfast may contact Karen Owens at 803.575.8039 or by email at karen@chapinsc.com. Limited sponsorship opportunities are available.

8th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

nathan pb

As of Tuesday night, we have 19 spots left before we’re at capacity (209) for this week’s 8th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast!

Please RSVP to Elizabeth Donehue (ElizabethDonehue@gmail.com) quickly so you can grab the last spots!

Years ago, Representative Huggins and I wanted to do provide something for Irmo that was missing. Chapin has their Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast and we felt Irmo could benefit from something similar as well.

We continue to rotate among churches in the area and would love to bring to your church in the coming years! This year we’re back at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian (site of the 2nd Annual event) and next year we’ll be back to Gateway Baptist (site of the 3rd Annual event). If you’d like your church to be a host church for 2015, please contact me and we’d be happy to share your church with the community!

Thanks to the support of our sponsors, we’ve been able to provide the event for FREE to the community the past few years and hope to continue to do so!

For a look at past events, click on the links below.

7th Annual – Video and Program
6th Annual – Video and Program
5th Annual – Video and Program
4th Annual – Video and Program
3rd Annual – Video and Program
2nd Annual – program

7th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Jim “Soni” Sonefeld to speak at 7th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Seven years ago, Representative Huggins and I began an annual event for the community that started at my church, Riverland Hills Baptist. After rotating among other local churches , we now go back to where it all started for this year’s 7th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast.

Recently, the past few Prayer Breakfasts have been free to attend (thanks to the wonderful and continued support of our many sponsors ). This year is no exception!

This year we’ve moved to a Tuesday morning (September 25th) with light breakfast provided by Chick-fil-a at 7:30 a.m. with the program running from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. For directions to the church, click here .

Please reserve your spot by emailing Elizabeth Donehue at elizabethdonehue@gmail.com or by calling her at 843-864-9414.

Space will be limited this year due to our speaker (who also has a local connection: his brother is the Irmo Fire Chief, Mike Sonefeld. )

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Here’s a recent article about this year’s speaker who is no stranger to those in the Columbia area!
Lexington Herald Leader by Rich Copley
(August 17, 2012)

LEXINGTON, Ky. Jim Sonefeld knows all about being at the top of the pops. During the mid-1990s, he was the drummer for Hootie & the Blowfish, known by a nickname, “Soni”, and enjoyed the benefits of being a rock star: the planes, the hotels, all the comforts.

But some of the benefits were not so beneficial, particularly the endless supply of alcohol. The rock-n-roll lifestyle took its toll, particularly on his first marriage.

“In 2004, I got sober,” Sonefeld says from his South Carolina home. “The wheels were coming off, and I was coming down from the Hootie & the Blowfish mountain.”

“It changed my life and forced me to look at what’s important to me.”

The band, which formed at the University of South Carolina, has several upcoming dates. But these days, Sonefeld also is coming out from behind the drum kit and singing a different tune.

“In 2011, I felt a call to start writing and singing about my conversion and singing the word of God,” Sonefeld says.

He was encouraged to pursue Christian music by his second wife, Laura, though it was not necessarily an easy adaptation.

After all, Sonefeld is used to being onstage behind a drum kit, supplying backing vocals while Hootie frontman Darius Rucker, who now has a successful solo country career, calls the tune.

“I started thinking, I’m going to be singing about Jesus up in front of everyone,” Sonefeld says. “I was the drummer from a 1990s rock band.”

There is plenty of precedent for a journey from behind the kit to center stage, including stars like Phil Collins and Christian rocker Peter Furler, who pounded the skins for Newsboys before he became the band’s frontman and now enjoys a solo career.

Sonefeld has worked with producer Stan Lynch, a former drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who has produced another great drummer-turned-frontman, The Eagles’ Don Henley.

Sonefeld, whose first solo album was 2008’s Snowman Melting, says this about writing faith-based music: “Stan reminded me that Hootie was a rock band and not to forget that.”

“I’m a sucker for a ballad and power chorus, and that works when singing about something as big as God.”

In April he released a five-song EP, Found. While recording and music are still part of his life, Sonefeld says he isn’t necessarily interested in pursuing full-fledged Christian rock stardom. He enjoys life at home in South Carolina with his family and church life.

“I really am interested in ministry to alcoholics because I am quite familiar with alcoholic recovery,” Sonefeld says.

Thus far, he hasn’t had anyone question his motives in pursuing faith-based music, which sometimes happens to mainstream artists who come into the Christian market.

And, no, when he plays on his own, the crowds have not been Hootie-size, but that’s OK. “There is still humility in playing in front of people who have paid a few dollars to see you,” Sonefeld says. “I always see it as a gift.”