Mississippi College

Mission Mississippi Marks Fifteen Years at Mayors' Prayer Breakfast

May 2, 2008

Mission Mississippi leaders say their work is far from finished after 15 years of spreading God's love across racial and denominational lines.

In fact, it's really time for a new generation to get involved and continue Mission Mississippi's efforts, said the keynote speaker at the 2008 Mayors' Prayer Breakfast in Jackson.

That was the message Friday from businessman Dan Hall, a founding board member of Mission Mississippi and former pastor at Cornerstone Church in Pearl.

Mission Mississippi was founded in 1993 with a simple call, he said, to "address racism as contrary to God's heart."

Today, there remain many challenges to advance the cause of racial reconciliation, Hall told hundreds in the audience at the Mississippi TelCom Center in downtown Jackson. Clarksdale Mayor Henry Espy, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton and others, from the business community to college campuses convened to pray for unity in the Body of Christ.

Mississippi College President Lee Royce and Tougaloo College President Beverly Hogan are serving as co-chairs for the Mayors' Prayer Breakfast and delivered remarks to welcome visitors. Eric Pratt, MC's vice president for Christian development, and MC sociology professor Brian Anderson, were among those on the event planning committee, on hand.

Earlier this week, Royce and Hogan teamed with Mission Mississippi President Dolphus Weary as guests on Mississippi radio talk shows to promote the prayer breakfast.

The focus of this year's event, the Tougaloo president said, is to reach out to younger generations of Mississippians. "If the ideals and values we hold dearly are to be sustained, we must engage the young people integrally in our work today," Hogan told 'The Messenger," one of Mission Mississippi's publications.

During his appearance on SuperTalk radio, Royce said MC students, both whites and African-Americans, work together on projects such as building Habitat homes. Too often, however, they are reluctant to carry on deeper conversations to enhance racial understanding, he noted.

Racial reconciliation, Hall said, is an issue that's not just confined to Mississippi or to the rest of America. It is truly worldwide in scope and it takes hard work and time to achieve progress, he said. Fifteen years ago, "We knew we had to start walking," Hall said. "Racial reconciliation is a human issue. It is a heart issue with economic ramifications."

With 25 years in the ministry, Hall has pastored churches in Mississippi, Indiana and Florida. He is the vice president of InvestLinc Securities, LLC. He's also worked in 23 countries to train business and religious leaders.

Mission Mississippi is celebrating its 15th anniversary in other ways. Leaders of the group are visiting 15 cities around the state, including Tupelo, Greenville, Starkville, Natchez, and Vicksburg, to discuss race relations and reconciliation. For more information about the Jackson-based organization, go to www.missionmississippi.org or call 601-353-6477.

PHOTO: Dan Hall, a founding board member of Mission Mississippi and former pastor at Cornerstone Church in Pearl

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