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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.”

UPDATE: 6th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

It’s hard to believe that Representative Chip Huggins and I first started this event six years ago at my church, Riverland Hills Baptist.

We like to think of the event as the unofficial kickoff to the Okra Strut and have always hosted the breakfast the Thursday morning before the Okra Strut. Today was the sixth one and even the rain didn’t keep friends and neighbors away.

Seven Oaks Presbyterian served as the host church this morning as guests listened to a message from local businessman, Steve Arnold . Steve’s message was personal and from the heart as he shared that God is in control and knows what he’s doing in – and with – our lives!

Special thanks to this year’s sponsors (most of who have been there every year from the beginning): Babcock Center Foundation, SC Representative Nathan Ballentine, SC Representative Chip Huggins, Irmo Insurance Agency, Inc., L.R. Enterprises, Inc., Rotary Club of St. Andrews, Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo, Lexington Medical Center, Debra and Mike DuBose, Columbia Conference Center/ Blake DuBose, DuBose Web Group, Palmetto Health Parkridge, The Warren Group.

Below are a few other quick videos/info from the previous breakfasts:

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

6th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

It’s hard to believe that Representative Chip Huggins and I first started this event six years ago at my church, Riverland Hills Baptist.

Once again, we like to think of the event as the unofficial kickoff to the Okra Strut ! We have always hosted it the Thursday morning before the Okra Strut and that means Thursday, September 22nd this year.

Seven Oaks Presbyterian will be the host church and Chip and I are excited to have local businessman, Steve Arnold, give the morning’s message.

Past events have seen attendance over 200 and this year space is keeping us to only 200 so be sure to RSVP for your FREE spot by calling Elizabeth Donehue at (843) 864-9414.

This event could not have continued like it has without the support of the many sponsors who help make it possible as well as the host churches, their members, and you – the community!

Hope to see you later this month! Special thanks to this year’s sponsors (most of who have been there every year from the beginning): Babcock Center Foundation, SC Representative Nathan Ballentine, SC Representative Chip Huggins, Irmo Insurance Agency, Inc., L.R. Enterprises, Inc., Rotary Club of St. Andrews, Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo, Lexington Medical Center, Debra and Mike DuBose, Columbia Conference Center/ Blake DuBose, DuBose Web Group, Palmetto Health Parkridge, The Warren Group.

Quick video/info on previous breakfasts:

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

5th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Representative Nathan Ballentine talks about the 5th Annual Prayer Breakfast, which took place at First Baptist Church in Irmo.

Join Us at the Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Representative Chip Huggins and Representative Nathan Ballentine

Invite you to join your friends and neighbors at the fifth annual

Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

First Baptist Church of Irmo
7068 Nursery Road
Columbia, SC 29212

Adrian Despres

Vice President, Kingdom Building Ministries
Chaplain, University of South Carolina Football
Itinerant Evangelist

Dr. Clark McCrary, First Baptist Church of Irmo
Dr. Bill Barton, Bill Barton Ministries
Rev. Julie Walkup Bird, McGregor Presbyterian Church
Rev. Kenneth E. Spry, Sr., Teen Spirit Forum of the Midlands
Rev. Dr. Franklin Fant, Seven Oaks Presbyterian Church

Music by:
Laine Huggins

Presentation of Colors by:
Irmo High School, JRAFROTC

Event tickets are complimentary
Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. Program starts at 8:00 a.m.

Please RSVP by September 16 to Elizabeth Donehue (843) 864-9414 or elizabethdonehue@gmail.com

Video: Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Always great to see so many community members come together for prayer, worship, and inspiration!

The music of Henry Flowers, IV and Cherie Murray (Irmo High Senior) and the message from Principal Eddie Walker (Irmo High School) were an inspiration to us all.

Thanks again to our sponsors and to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church for hosting this year’s event!

Next year…. First Baptist of Irmo .

4th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

For the past few years, Representative Huggins and I have enjoyed having local churches host this event for our community. Starting first at Riverland Hills Baptist (2006), St. Andrews Presbyterian (2007), Gateway Baptist (2008), and now this year at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church !

With the economy being in the state it is and with so much uncertainty in everyone’s lives, we wanted to make this year’s event easier than ever for you to attend!

Thanks to the continued support of our sponsors and local business leaders, this year’s event will be FREE to the public! (Please RSVP before 9/21 to Elizabeth Donehue at elizabeth@donehueagency.com

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 24, 2009
7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
170 St. Andrews Road
Columbia, SC 29210

Eddie Walker
Principal, Irmo High School

Rev. J. Blaney Pridgen, III, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Dr. Bill Barton, Bill Barton Ministries
Rev. Dr. James S. Cooper, Pine Grove A.M.E. Church
Rev. Dr. Franklin Fant, Seven Oaks Presbyterian Church
Jim Osteen, First Baptist Irmo

Music by:
Henry Flowers IV and Cherie Murray

Presentation of Colors by:
Irmo High School, JRAFROTC

FREE to the public. A light breakfast is available beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Program starts at 8:00 a.m.

Please RSVP by September 21, 2009 to Elizabeth Donehue (843) 864-9414 or elizabeth@donehueagency.com.

Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

(9/27/2007) Over 250 people attended the Second Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast!

When Representative Huggins and I first talked about getting an event like this started in the community, we both agreed that no matter how long we may serve – we both wanted the event to continue for many years to come.

Last year the first breakfast was at Riverland Hills Baptist and this year St. Andrews Presbyterian was the host. (Next year, it will be at Gateway Baptist). The idea is to rotate the breakfast among local churches and to continue to emphasize the power of prayer.

I could write pages about the event and the speakers but will simply say that Dr. A.V. Strong, Executive Director of A Better Way: Project Gang Out, gave a wonderful testimony and a “wake up” call to the community about gangs. Simply put, he said “it’s spiritual warfare.” He then opened a bag full of bandanas (called “colors”) of former gang members who he and his organization have personally helped find “a better way”.

A former gang member himself, Dr. Strong knows too well how this path ends for our children.

I’m not sure who first said this but I often share this comment when I speak to youth groups and their parents. “When I was younger I had a drug problem….my mom drug me to church on Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings…..”

That’s the kind of drug problem we need today.

COMMUNITY UPDATE: April 2017

Community Update

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STATE HOUSE
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We are approaching the final weeks of this year’s shortened-session . (Shortened after the Senate finally agreed with the House’s push for almost ten years!)

The first week of April is “cross over week” which means that if a bill is going to have any chance at becoming law before we adjourn until 2018, the bill has to at least pass one chamber before Thursday afternoon. If legislation does not pass at least one chamber, the other body will not be able to take up that bill without an overwhelming vote to do so.

Good news is that many bills have already passed one body (either the House or Senate). A major bill that have received attention (again) this year is “the roads bill” . Once again, the House passed a comprehensive plan to improve our state’s infrastructure needs. Last year the plan was filibustered in the Senate. This year, a Senate filibuster hasn’t started (yet) and the bill is not on priority status on the Senate calendar. It’s my hope (and many in the state) that the Senate will act this year. If they do not like the House’s plan, amend it. To simply not put forth a plan is not in the best interest of our state. Obviously, I support tax cuts as well; however, we could not get enough votes in the House and had to compromise to keep legislation and debate moving. If the Senate can insert tax cuts, I would obviously support that. If you live outside the area, please let your Senator know your concerns. Unfortunately, our community does not have representation at this time in the Senate.

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YOUR MONEY
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Another major bill up for debate during the important “cross over week” is “the bond bill” . For almost 20 years, the state has not borrowed money for capital needs for our universities/colleges and state buildings. Earlier this month, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a $500 million borrowing plan and now the full House is set to vote and send to the Senate for their consideration.

If you have not shared your view on whether now is an appropriate time for the state to borrower money, please comment below, email me, or call my office!

Should the bill pass the House, the big question is will the Senate add to the plan and what specific projects will be included? The House trimmed requests down from $2 billion and it’s my hope that the Senate will not add anything that would be considered a “local project” or “pork” to the bill.

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COMMUNITY
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RICHLAND COUNTY RECREATION COMMISSION: After months/years of mismanagement, a fix is in sight. Last month I was able to convince my delegation members to appoint Cynthia Wass Shepard from our community to serve as a commissioner. Cynthia will help restore public trust and confidence as a new board seeks to replace the former director.

IRMO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: This month’s monthly luncheon will be held Wednesday, April 12th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. For more details, visit the Chamber’s Event website.

CHAPIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:: The 23rd Annual Chapin Chamber Golf Tournament/Charlie Dorton Memorial Golf Tournament is Thursday, April 6th at the Timberlake Golf Course. Morning Shotgun 8:00 a.m. (Registration begins at 7:00 a.m.) Limited to 18 teams or 72 golfers. Afternoon Shotgun 1:30 p.m. (Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.) **A RAIN DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR APRIL 20TH, 2017. ** For more information visit the Chamber’s Events website.

BALLENTINE-DUTCH FORK CIVIC ASSOCIATION: Monthly Meeting is Monday, April 3rd at 6:30pm at Ballentine Park. There will be updates on the new “Welcome to Ballentine, Gateway to Lake Murray” sign which will soon be back up at the new Ballentine Library! For information on the association, please visit their website.

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OUR SCHOOLS
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DUTCH FORK MIDDLE SCHOOL – PALMETTO’S FINEST! Two weeks ago, Dutch Fork Middle School was selected as a 2017 Palmetto’s Finest School. The announcement aired live on SC ETV March 21. The South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) presents the awards each year to schools which offer the best in innovative, effective educational programs. The Palmetto’s Finest Award is celebrating its 39th year and is one of the most coveted and respected awards among educators. This announcement comes just a few months after Principal Dr. Gerald Gary was recognized as 2017 South Carolina Middle Level Principal of the Year!

CHAPIN HIGH SCHOOL – DR. AKIL ROSS: Also two weeks ago, Chapin High’s prinicpal was recognized by T The State as a Top 20 Under 40 professional helping to build the Midlands! This recognition comes just months after Dr. Ross was named 2017 South Carolina Secondary Principal of the Year. (Yes, that’s right. District Five has TWO PRINCIPALS OF THE YEAR FOR THE STATE!). As if those recognitions weren’t enough, Dr. Ross also was the keynote speaker last week at the Chapin Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.


DUTCH FORK HIGH SCHOOL PRINCPAL RETIRING END OF YEAR:
After years of distinguish service in public education, Dr. Greg Owings will be retiring. Dr. Owings has earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the SC Association of School Administrators and will be greatly missed in District Five.

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THANK YOU
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Thanks again for the privilege you give me to represent the Irmo/Chapin/Ballentine/Dutch Fork community! If you have events or people you’d like me to share with our community right here through Nathan’s News, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

I’m always eager to spend time with you at your Homeowners Association Meetings, Churches, and other civic events in the community! Let me know dates and times and I’ll work to be there!

Nathan Ballentine
803-734-2969
www.nathansnews.com
House of Representatives, District 71
Richland-Lexington Counties
320B Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29201

COMMUNITY UPDATE – January 2017

Today, I head to the State House to begin the first year of the 122nd session of the SC General Assembly. As always, there is much work to do.

I ask for your prayers again so that I can continue “…to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Once again, I will keep you updated with regular emails as well as posts on my website (www.nathansnews.com). I hope you will continue to contact me anytime with your advice or concerns. Please know that this year I am serving on a new committee. I’ve attached a link and article from the New Irmo News with that information.

BALLENTINE, HUGGINS RECEIVE COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

Irmo and Chapin will soon have 2 members serving on the top committee in the SC House of Representatives.

During the House Organizational session this week, Rep. Chip Huggins (R-Lexington) was reappointed to the House Ways and Means Committee where he has served for many years. Joining Rep. Huggins in January will be Rep. Nathan Ballentine (R-Lexington). Both members represent the Irmo/Chapin communities and successful won their primaries this June. Huggins was challenged by homebuilder Bryan Clifton and won 62 percent to 38 percent while Ballentine defeated current Richland County Councilman, Bill Malinowski, 84 percent to 16 percent.

Of the 124 members in the SC House, only 25 serve on the budget committee. The committee crafts the state budget every year and is responsible for appropriating more than $20 billion to run state government. Almost every member on the committee have served in the House for more than 10 years and have earned the respect of their House colleagues.

“Irmo and Chapin are fortunate to have Chip and Nathan on the House Ways and Means Committee,” House Majority Leader Gary Simrill (R-York) said. “Both are tireless workers at the State House and back home in their communities”

While Huggins has previously served on the committee, Ballentine was promoted after serving on the Labor, Commerce and Industry committee (LCI) which is responsible for any bills pertaining to business in the state.

“I certainly enjoyed my time on LCI and will continue to help our state grow, recruit and expand jobs for our state,” Ballentine said. “I could not pass up an opportunity and honor like this and now get to work alongside my desk-mate and prioritize where our state invests our taxpayer’s dollars.”

“Nathan’s financial background and ability to find solutions will be an asset to the committee and our state,” Simrill said. “He and Chip both know how to work for their people and also work with the members of the body to get things done.”

To contact or learn more about Nathan Ballentine visit www.nathansnews.com. For Chip Huggins call 803-331-8468 or e-mail chiphugginssc@gmail.com.

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Nathan Ballentine
House of Representatives, District 71
Richland and Lexington Counties
320B Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29221
803-734-2969
www.nathansnews.com