germaine-smith-baugh_web.jpg LAUDERDALE LAKES — The Urban League of Broward County is gearing up for its third annual community prayer breakfast, an event where elected officials, community leaders, clergy and families will unite in prayer.

The Unity in Leadership event will take place Saturday, Dec. 6 at First Church of the Open Bible in Lauderdale Lakes. Serving as this year's keynote speaker will be the Rev. Mack King Carter, senior pastor of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale.

The annual prayer breakfast was created in 2006 by Germaine Smith-Baugh, the Urban League’s president and CEO.

“Shortly after I came into the position as CEO, I decided that one of the things I wanted to do was reach out to faith-based groups," said Smith-Baugh, who took the helm of the Urban League in 2006. “We started out small looking for people who were ready and willing to pray for the community.”

Although last year's event drew about 90 people, the crowd at this year's event is expected to be bigger because it's open to the entire community, said Lisa Williamson Barker, the Urban League's vice president of development.

“The first couple of years we targeted the clergy, but we wanted the entire community to come together for the betterment of the community,’’ Barker said. “We are promoting a message of unity and leadership.”

The event will include a continental breakfast, as well as a time for praise and worship.  

Smith-Baugh said this year's event will be focused on praying for leaders – both locally and nationally – especially for president-elect Barack Obama as he forms his leadership team.

“People are filled with trepidation over the economy and are looking for change with this new leadership,” Smith-Baugh said. “This is not a prayer breakfast for show, we want people to come together and really pray for the community.”

She added that Carter was an ideal pick as this year's keynote speaker because of his longstanding ties with the community.

“[Carter] has been in this community for a very long time, and he's seen the transitions within the community,” she said. “He has the perspective of  getting through the relatively different times we are in.”

Another topic of prayer at the upcoming event will be the Urban League itself. The Fort Lauderdale-based nonprofit serves the community in  a variety of ways, including after-school care programs, employment and training, GED assistance, homeownership and financial literacy, youth employment services, and educational programs.

“The Urban League will continue to respond to the community and grow as the community needs us to grow,” Smith-Baugh said.

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Photo: Germaine Smith-Baugh



IF YOU GO:

What:  Third Annual Community Prayer Breakfast

Where: First Church of the Open Bible, 4767 NW 24th Ct., Lauderdale Lakes.

When: Saturday, Dec. 6, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m.; program begins at 9 a.m.

Contact: For more information about the third annual community prayer breakfast, call 954-625-2544 or register online at www.ulbroward.org.