DES MOINES — The 53rd annual Iowa Prayer Breakfast will be held on Thursday, April 17 at 7:15-8:45 a.m. in the Ballroom at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (formerly Veterans Memorial Auditorium) at 883 Fifth Ave., Des Moines.
The purpose of the Iowa Prayer Breakfast is to bring together Iowa’s governor, state legislators and community and religious leaders to join with the public to ask God’s direction and blessing upon the state. Starting in 1961, Iowans have continued this beloved tradition, gathering every Maundy Thursday to celebrate the beginning of the Easter weekend. People from all walks of life come to listen to local vocalists and musicians, and to hear an inspiring message from a selected keynote speaker. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and his wife, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and several other elected officials have committed to attend this year’s prayer breakfast.
Esteemed and internationally renowned opera singer Dr. Simon Estes, will be this year’s featured keynote speaker. Estes has sung in 90 of the major opera houses, with 115 orchestras, in 102 operatic roles and with over 90 different conductors worldwide. Estes has performed for more than 20 presidents throughout the world, including six U.S. presidents. He has also sung for notable religious figures including two Popes, at a Billy Graham Crusade, Dr. Schuller at the Crystal Cathedral, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu at St. George’s Cathedral in South Africa and numerous churches worldwide. Estes’ heart and career have led him to help thousands of children around the world. This past year, he has focused on raising funds to eradicate Malaria in Africa. Professor Estes continues to teach at Iowa State University and Wartburg College. The title of Estes’ remarks for the Iowa Prayer Breakfast is “Reverence for God & Gratitude to Jesus.” Dr. Estes will also share his musical talents by singing a solo during the breakfast.
“Prayer is so vital in our lives,” says Estes, the Centerville native who will share his witness to Christ at the 53rd annual Iowa Prayer Breakfast. He also said in a radio interview, “Prayers…they absolutely are answered. I am deeply honored and humbled to speak at the Iowa Prayer Breakfast.”