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Greater Huntsville Pastors Prayer Summit

Greater Huntsville Pastors’ Prayer Summit

Dear Pastor or Christian Leader:

Peace to each of you, your families, and ministries.

Do you hear or perceive a new holy cadence emerging in our city? Over the course of the last 12 months multiple kingdom endeavors have been birthed or have come forth with great impact: we continue to see a multiplicity of new church plants; there is talk of many fellowships experimenting with satellite venues for worship and reaching the un-reached; we have seen the birth of the Marketplace Leadership Luncheon; the birth of the national office for E3 Student Ministries, a ministry responsible for leading students on evangelistic church planting trips all over the world; Renown for young adults; and creative and engaging ministries through local church fellowships that are too numerous to mention. Indeed, God is blessing our city and the “water level” of His manifest favor and grace is rising.

As we live in this unique time as pastors and Christian leaders, we are aware that our city is not only being blessed by God, but it is also growing. We are postured on what many call, “BRAC Eve.” We are still about one year away from our city receiving thousands upon thousands of new residents. This is a time of shifting for the greater Huntsville region.

As we prepare for this “shifting.” I want to invite you to pray with other pastors and Christian leaders at this month’s mini-prayer summit. It will be hosted in September at The Rock Family Worship Center and will begin at 10:00 a.m. It would be presumptuous of me to think that all of the signs of God’s favor are attributable to pastors and Christian leaders gathered regularly for prayer. But I am convinced, based upon the revelation of Holy Scripture, that God does bless a people who come together in unity as He defines it (Psalm 133; John 17:22-23; Eph 4:1-6). I am thankful for the many signs of God’s movement. May we be encouraged and stay the course.

While this quote is from a generation of men who went before us, it is nonetheless worthy of our prayerful reading:

In God’s name, I beseech you, let prayer nourish you soul as you meals nourish your body. Let your fixed seasons of prayer keep you in God’s presence through the day, and may His presence frequently remembered through it be an ever fresh spring of prayer. Such a brief, loving recollection of God renews a man’s whole being, quiets his passions, supplies light and counsel in difficulty, gradually subdues the temper, and causes him to possesses his soul in patience, or that gives it up to the possession of God. ---Fenelon

For the glory of God,

Paul Lawler
Torchbearer, Greater Huntsville Pastors’ Prayer Summit

Monthly Mini-Summit!

Greater Huntsville Pastors Prayer Summit

Monthly Mini-Summit
September 2006
Mini-Summit Time

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

September Mini-Summit

Thursday September 14th

Please note that the mini-summit for the month of September will be hosted by The Rock Family Worship Center and Pastor Rusty Nelson. The location and directions are included.

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

The Rock Family Worship Center
2300 Memorial Pkwy SW
Huntsville, AL 35801
Phone:(256) 533-9292

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
The Rock Family Worship Center


The Rock Family Worship Center
2300 Memorial Pkwy SW
Huntsville, AL 35801
Phone:(256) 533-9292

Map and Directions

The heart of The Rock FWC is to fulfill the vision God has established through every area of ministry. We believe God called us to do three very important things as we serve this region:

Core value 1: To love the Father Jesus lived for ...

Worship is not what we do, but it is who we are. Intimacy with the Father is not found in a song, but in a heart turned towards the Father. We believe that a life laid down before the Lord is the true definition of worship.

Core Value 2: To love the church Jesus paid for ...

Equipping the body of Christ is not only scriptural, but it is essential for developing mature, stable and confident Christians who truly walk in the authority provided to them through Christ. It is not enough to just love the Father; we must love one another as Christ loved us.

Core value 3: To love the world Jesus died for ...

Evangelism and outreach bring life to the four walls of a church. We have a passion for the lost, broken, lonely and hurting people who need to know about a Savior who died for them. We are His hands today to reach out and affect our world for His kingdom.



Marriage Savers Initiative - Community Marriage Covenant


Marriage Savers Initiative
Coming to Huntsville!

The highly successful Marriage Savers Initiative (, instituted in over 200 communities throughout the United States in the past 10 years with profound impact, is coming to the Madison County-Greater Huntsville community October 20-21, 2006. Mike McManus, the founder and director of the Marriage Saver ministry, and his wife will lead the day and half training to clergy and other marriage ministries in our area. This event is being sponsored by the Madison County Coalition for Healthy Marriages ( and will be held in conjunction with the signing of a Community Marriage Covenant (CMC) by many local clergy who want are willing to join this area-wide effort to strengthen marriages and reverse the devastating trends of divorce in our community.

There are three primary activities of the Madison County Coalition for Healthy Marriages before the October 20-21 training occurs.

1.) Inform the Madison County clergy of the Marriage Savers initiative and the clergy Community Marriage Covenant (CMC) proposed.

2.) Solicit the over 450 churches and clergy of Madison County to commit to the Community Marriage Covenant (CMC) and have their commitment publicized to the community in a media event scheduled for October 20, 1:00 PM at the Madison County courthouse.

As of this last weekend (9/10/06) we had 49 pastors/congregations already confirmed to sign the Community Marriage Covenant (CMC), so momentum is building ...

Clergy willing to commit to the Community Marriage Covenant (CMC), who we do not already have confirmed, please contact:

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

Note the Marriage Savers Pastoral Steering Team co-chairmen are Kenny Mitchell, Senior Pastor Covenant of Peace Church, and Garry Jordan, Senior Pastor Jackson Way Baptist Church.

3.) Register clergy and marriage ministry leadership couples for the October 20/21 training to implement the Marriage Savers initiative in our community. The schedule for this training as well as the location and cost of training are all defined below.

Schedule: Starting on Friday October 20 at 1:00 pm, a Community Marriage Covenant (CMC) SIGNING CEREMONY will take place at the Madison County courthouse to announce the new initiative to our community. Clergy committed to the Community Marriage Covenant are encouraged to attend this ceremony to sign publicly. The Marriage Savers initiative TRAINING will take place from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM on Friday (Oct 20), and Saturday (Oct 21), from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

Training Location: The host church for this training will be Faith Presbyterian Church located at the intersection of Whitesburg Drive and Airport Road in Huntsville. This church is dedicated to implementing the principles of the Marriage Savers program in our community.

Training Cost: There is no cost to sign the covenant, but is some associated with the training ( primarily for materials). Sponsorship is also being raised so cost will not be a hindrance to any who would desire to be part of this strategic time and training. Please see following links for addtional details.

Additional Information (PDF)

The Madison County Clergy
Community Marriage Covenant (CMC)

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

Madison County divorce rate is more than 50% higher than the U.S. average, which is 500 divorces per 1000 marriages. We have 771 divorces per 1000 marriages, a divorce rate of 77.1% ...

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”

As of this last weekend (9/10/06) we had 49 pastors/congregations already confirmed to sign the Community Marriage Covenant (CMC), so momentum is building ...

Community Marriage Covenant
Madison County, Alabama

This covenant expresses the common bond of clergy in our community to establish healthy marriages and strengthen existing marital relationships for the welfare of our homes, families, and greater community.

We believe

  • God has established the sanctity and companionship of marriage in scripture (Gen 2:24).
  • God intends the marriage bond between husband and wife to last for a lifetime (Mal 2:16, Matt 19:5-6).
  • As clergy we have a responsibility before God to establish a standard for marriage preparation, enrichment of existing marital relationships, and restoration of couples in need (1 Pet 5:2-3).

Therefore, we commit to

  • Encourage a courtship of at least one year.
  • Promote sexual abstinence outside of marriage, while affirming fidelity in the marital relationship.
  • Identify, inspire, and train couples with strong marriages to serve as mentor couples for engaged couples, newlywed couples, couples experiencing marital difficulties, or couples wishing to strengthen their relationship.
  • Support a minimum premarital preparation process of four to six months, which includes six premarital counseling/mentoring sessions providing spiritual guidance, the use of an effective premarital inventory, and marriage education.
  • Support enrichment opportunities for established marriages such as classes, seminars, and retreats.
  • Support stepfamily groups to help parents of stepchildren learn how to be successful parents and partners.
  • Provide intervention for marriages in crisis.
  • Cooperate with other congregations and organizations by sharing resources for the purpose of building and promoting healthy marriages in our community.

Signed _________________________ Date: _________________

Print name/church_______________________________________


The Devastating Trend and The Possibility

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.

Greater Huntsville Be Ready Day - Governor's Office Faith Based/Community Initiatives

The Governor's Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives is working to highlight disaster relief and preparedness this month in churches across the state on September 24th within local congregations (see below), and is hosting several "Be Ready" Days across the state to help mobilize for that day inviting churches and organizations to become informed/prepared for disaster with for Greater Huntsville date this September 14th (see below) at the Space and Rocket Center.

Alabama Governor's Office
of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

RSA Union Building, Suite 134
100 North Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7110
FAX: (334) 242-2885

September 6, 2006; Volume I Issue XXIV
***Special Edition***

Alabama, Are You Prepared For a Disaster?


September is National Preparedness Month. The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (GFBCI) is teaming up with the Alabama Department of Homeland Security and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to be a part of this nation-wide initiative to better prepare Alabama. The GFBCI is pleased to announce ­three events:

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Faith-based organizations are encouraged to promote preparedness within their congregations by speaking on the importance of being prepared, including materials in their bulletins and newsletters, and/or posting preparedness information on their websites. By clicking the Be Ready Sunday link on the website you will be able to sign-up and join a statewide coalition, download “Steps for Developing a Plan” and “Church Disaster Preparedness Checklist” to prepare your house of worship, and download a bulletin insert to include with Sunday’s program.

Thursday, September 14, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Space and Rocket Center - Huntsville, Alabama
Open to the Public

Annual statewide community preparedness event featuring education and training on disaster preparedness and emergency response, volunteer opportunities across the state, and first responder demonstrations. With over 20 booths and 20 outside displays, interactive stations such as a smoke house simulating a burning house will demonstrate proper and safe ways to respond to a disaster. At 1:00 PM Governor Bob Riley will address the crowd on the importance of being prepared as a state and as individuals. We will have representatives from the National Weather Service, Medical Response Units, HAM Radio operators, and more. As part of planning for the day, we are scheduling the arrival times for groups that wish to bring buses of people from their organizations and congregations. If you would like to schedule the arrival time for your group, please call Ivonne Garcia in the GFBCI at (334) 242-7110.

Monday, September 11-Thursday, September 14, 2006
U.S. Space and Rocket Center - Huntsville, Alabama

Preparedness camp for 80 pre-selected 6th graders that will teach the next generation of citizens and leaders the importance of being prepared for any type of disaster or emergency. Activities and training include Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, creating an emergency kit, creating an emergency family plan, storm spotting, and tours of the Madison County Emergency Management Agency and National Weather Service.

For more information

The Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (GFBCI) is pleased to provide links to resources on faith-based and community initiatives. The websites listed on this page do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the GFBCI, nor is GFBCI responsible for the content of these sites. Please address any questions or concerns regarding this statement to