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Greater Huntsville Pastors Prayer Summit
Monthly Mini-Summit!

Greater Huntsville Pastors Prayer Summit

Monthly Mini-Summit
August 2006
Mini-Summit Time

Mini-Summits occur the 2nd Thursday of each month.

August Mini-Summit

Thursday August 10th

Please note that the mini-summit for the month of August will be hosted by Faith Chapel and Pastor Joel McGraw. The location and directions are included.

Meet and Greet: 10:00am
Prayer: 10:30am
Lunch: 12:00pm
Mini-Summit Location

Faith Chapel PHC
3913 Pulaski Pike NW
Huntsville, AL 35810
Phone: (256) 852-1606

Map and Directions

Steering Team

Please note there will also be a meeting of the Servant Leadership Team at 8:30am in the same location.
Host Possibilities? If your church or ministry would be willing to host a mini-summit one month, or you would like to recommend a location that may be a strategic site for a future month, please let us know! Email: Host Possibility

Host Ministry Highlight
Faith Chapel

Faith Chapel
To Hear ... Know ... and Obey God


Faith Chapel PHC
3913 Pulaski Pike NW
Huntsville, AL 35810
Phone: (256) 852-1606

Map and Directions

From the Pastor's Desk:

"Faith Chapel is at 3913 Pulaski Pike NW about three miles north of Oakwood Ave./half mile north of Mastin Lake Road on the west side of Pulaski. This church was begun in 1967 and I am the founding pastor. We are International Pentecostal Holiness, birthed out of the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in 1906. We look forward to a great time of fellowship and prayer on August 10. Welcome!" - Joel

Senior Pastor: Joel S. McGraw
Discipleship & Christian Education Pastor: Rickey Brewington
Youth and Outreach: Wade Hornsby

Marriage Coalition/Marriage Savers - Pastors Lunch and Covenant Draft

Marriage Coalition/Marriage Savers Pastors Luncheon
Clergy Community Marriage Covenant (CMC) Draft

Latest Update From Thursday, August 03, 2006 4:39 PM


We have been invited to use the Rock Family Worship Center facility for our luncheon by Pastors Rusty Nelson and Rines Varrette.  The luncheon will be from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM and during this time we will communicate a significant amount of information on the Marriage Savers program and the training planned for you to implement such a ministry in your church on a long-term, on-going basis.  Based upon previously expressed interest, we anticipate 20 to 30 churches will join this initial training scheduled for October 20/21 in Huntsville.  Again I would like to encourage you to survey the webpage on the Marriage Savers Program to see the impact it has had in other communities such as ours  (
If you are coming to luncheon August 15 please advise me by email or phone message.  Thank you for adjusting your priorities and putting healthy marriages on the front burner of your church and our community.
Rock Family Worship Center is located on Memorial Parkway (just South of Governor's Drive intersection with Memorial Parkway). 
Kenny Mitchell
Pastoral Steering Committee Chairman for Marriage Savers program
Pastor Covenant of Peace Church
256-859-4444 (home)
256-783-9425 (cell)

Recent Background - The Crisis and Devastating Trend


The January and May clergy luncheons hosted this year by the Madison County Coalition for Healthy Marriages (MCCHM) indicated significant interest by pastors and other ministries to bring the Marriage Savers Program ( to the community and reverse the extremely high number of divorces occurring in Madison County. A brief summary of our community statistics is shocking. In considering Marriages/Divorces in Madison County from 1997-2005 with a total of 22,901 marriages and 25,958 divorces in that period!

Examination of this MADISON COUNTY data with national statistics reveals the following stunning statistics:

Madison County divorce rate is more than 100% higher than the U.S. average, which is 500 divorces per 1000 marriages. We have 1130 divorces per 1000 marriages, a divorce rate of 113%.

The Marriage Savers strategy has been instituted in over 200 communities in the past 10 years and has significantly enriched marriages and prevented divorces in these communities (see website above for more information). According to the Heritage Foundation, “A well executed community marriage covenant can save up to 80% of marriages headed for divorce, reconcile more than 50% of separate couples, enable 80% of step families to be successful parents and marriage partners”

Since 3 out of 4 marriages are normally performed in churches by the clergy, it is imperative that we not become just a wedding factory. We must help couples be better prepared for marriage, teach couples how to continually enrich their marriage, have means to help marriages in trouble become healthy, and help step families (blended families) be successful parents and partners.

One of the first steps being taken is to have clergy and other ministries focused on healthy marriages is to commit ourselves to a Community Marriage Covenant (CMC). We reviewed a sample of such a covenant from an Ohio community at our May 23rd luncheon at First Baptist. Coordination of such a policy is being made with those ministers who stated at the May 23rd luncheon they would like to help draft such a policy of our community (see attached list of ministers indicating a willingness to be part of a CMC and also checking that they would like to bring a proposed CMC to the community for signature). I will work with these ministers and at our next luncheon this month we want to present a Madison County Community Marriage Covenant to you. In a separate email, I have mailed these ministers a draft for them to finalize and bring to the luncheon.

We have been in contact with Mike McManus (Director of Marriage Savers) to coordinate having Marriage Savers instituted in Madison County this year. The earliest this training could occur is Oct 20/21. We have set that date for having you and three couples from your church to receive training (and materials) to implement in your church and begin the process of saving marriages in our community. We will review the proposed training and overall Marriage Savers Program in more detail with you at our next luncheon scheduled for August 15 (Tuesday), 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at the Rock Family Worship Center as a follow-up to the May luncheon at First Baptist Church. Please put this date on your calendar and plan to attend or send a representative to understand what commitment you will have to make to be part of the Marriage Savers strategy we want to implement in our community.

A site for the October 20/21 dates for training churches in the Marriage Savers program hasn't been finalized (hopefully by August 15 we can convey that information to you). The training will be Friday, October 20 from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM and on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. On Friday afternoon we will be publicizing the implementation of the CMC and Marriage Savers program in our community through a special media event being planned.

For your information, during the month of June, the Madison County Coalition for Healthy Marriages prepared and submitted a detailed 60-page grant proposal to the U.S. government (in response to a request for such proposals) to implement a major media campaign for healthy marriages in our community. This campaign would be over a period of 5 years and be funded at a level of $500,000/year. If God grants us favor in winning such a grant we be assured of reaching even a broader number of families and individuals in our community to ensure marriages are receiving the ministries needed to prepare them for success, heal those troubled and enrich the healthy ones. We should know the outcome of whether we win a grant or not by end of September. The grant would begin in October of this year. This grant is independent of whether we start the Marriage Savers program which will be a clergy-owned ministry in our community. However, the grant would provide wonderful resources to advertise what is available for couples desiring healthy marriages. At the luncheon we can status you more on this effort.

Kenny Mitchell
Pastoral Steering Committee Chairman
Marriage Savers Program
256-859-4444 (home)
256-783-9425 (cell)


National Marriage Facts and Statistics

The Problem – A Devastating Marriage Crisis

The four primary elements of the marriage crisis:

Marriage - The marriage rate has plunged 43% since 1970. If the same percentage of couples were marrying now as in 1970, there would be a million more marriages a year.

Divorce - Half of all new marriages still end in divorce. There have been 38 million divorces since 1970, impacting 35 million children. Children of divorce are three times as likely to be expelled or to have a baby as a teenager, five times as likely to live in poverty, and 12 times more likely to be incarcerated according to the Heritage Foundation. Even worse, when children of divorce become adults, only 60% marry, they are more likely to divorce, and divorced men die 10 years sooner than married men.

Cohabitation - The number of unmarried couples living together has soared 12-fold from 430,000 in 1960 to 5 million. There are only 2.2 million marriages a year. Cohabitation has become the dominant way male-female unions are formed. However, those who marry after living together are 50% more likely to divorce.

Unwed births - The percentage of children born out-of-wedlock rose again in 2003 to a stunning 35%. Cohabiting couples are as likely to have children as married couples.

The Possibility – Community Marriage Policies (CMP)

According to the Heritage Foundation, “A well executed community marriage covenant can save up to 80% of marriages headed for divorce, reconcile more than 50% of separate couples, enable 80% of step families to be successful parents and marriage partners”

A community marriage policy (CMP) consists of a signed pledge by a coalition of clergy representing a diverse cross-section of congregations in the community to make marriage a priority in their church. Specifics vary by city, but the CMP core ingredients include: 1.) minimum time of marriage preparation, 2.) require anyone getting married to take a premarital inventory, and 3.) train older couples in good marriages to mentor other couples (in different stages).

The Impact – Community Marriage Policies (CMP)

Modesto, CA - divorce dropped 57%, new marriage increased 11%, teen pregnancy decreased 30%, school dropouts decreased 20%, cohabitation decreased 14% (while increased 20-30% nationwide)

Tallahassee, FL - Live the Life Ministries has pushed down Tallahassee’s divorce rate by 23% and has built a CMP with a budget of $600,000 raised locally.

Dalton, GA - From 2003 to 2005 the number of divorces fell from 1,050 to 789, a 24% drop. Judges who perform civil weddings were also encouraged to require premarital couples to take an inventory.

Austin, TX - After 252 pastors signed its Community Marriage Policy in 1996, the average number of divorces fell to 2,319 in 1999-2000, a steep 29% drop in the divorce rate.

Kansas City, KS - In Johnson County, a suburb of Kansas City, the divorce rate fell 65.9% while it rose by 11.2% in comparable counties.

Shreveport, LA - Shreveport slashed its divorce rate by 31% in its first year after a CMP signing.