Positive words positive thinking are the keys to negotiating this world, Rev. Marvin Sapp told an estimated crowd of more than 3,000 people gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest, D.C. for the 43rd Annual Legislative Conference’s Prayer Breakfast.
“Do not spit venomous words from your mouth,” Sapp, American gospel singer and pastor of the Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Michigan, said. “Words are powerful. Your words have power.” Sapp closed his sermon with his award-winning song, “Never Would Have Made It, ” accompanied by impromptu cheering and singing-along from the audience.
The prayer breakfast, from 7:30 to 10 a.m., opened the fourth and final day of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) 2013 annual conference.
Inside the elegantly decorated hall, attendees were seated, served a light meal, and serenaded by live jazz and an opening number by Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy, musical ministry of First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Glenarden, Md.
The CBC Prayer Breakfast is regarded as one of the key events of the annual conference, occurring at a day, time and price that makes it a popular and widely-attended and accessible event.
“It Starts With You,” proclaimed CBCF Chair, Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) echoing this year’s Annual Legislative Conference theme in his opening speech. “We have a special responsibility. We can rebuild the loss if we have the mind to work. ”
CBCF President and CEO A. Shuanise Washington stressed the importance of communities coming together, addressing issues plaguing African-American communities and initiating change. “There will not be a formal invite to make change,” said Washington.
Remarks at the prayer breakfast were also delivered by Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Coca Cola Vice President Community Relations Lori G. Billingsley and Ingrid Sanders Jones who is entering her second year at the helm of the National Council of Negro Women.
White House Public Engagement Advisor Paul Monteiro restated the Obama administration’s call for public support of the Affordable Health Care Act and public opposition to a funding slash for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Monteiro stated that 45 percent of SNAP beneficiaries are children and that the Obama administration will continue to fight for affordable health care and food stamp assistance.