Members of the community gathered for a time of invocation Tuesday morning at the county complex during the 47th annual Chamber Prayer Breakfast.
Steve Cantrell was the keynote speaker for the program. A member of the Senior Executive Service, Cantrell has served in the Department of the Air Force as Director of the Civil Aviation Intelligence Analysis Center, Washington D.C.
“The focus of my speech was prayer and how God answers our prayers. Sometimes he answers our prayers immediately and sometimes although we pray God answers our prayers on His time. In my case it was life changing for me. At one time I was in a terrific situation. There was no question that when that situation was resolved which was a medical situation on a very fast Interstate in Washington D.C. during rush hour that God was answering prayers that had been said for me by my wife, mother, and many others over the years when I was deployed. It was just that those prayers needed to be answered at that time,” he said.
Cantrell has spent much of his adult life in the military.
“I grew up as a military brat growing up with my dad (Waniford Cantrell) and moved around the country. When I got ready to graduate from the University of Kentucky I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. Dad wanted me to be a lawyer. Others were pushing me toward other things. I finally decided I wanted to go into the military and follow my dad’s footsteps,” said Cantrell.
“I now work for the Air Force. I was in one position but I just got detailed. I am now a Special Assistant for the Secretary of the Air Force involved in a project looking at all the directive publications and regulations in the Air Force to see if we can’t whittle them down, make less of them, make them shorter and more concise, and put them in plain English,” he said.
Cantrell's plans are to relocate here upon retirement.
“I’m looking to relocate here within two years. My mother (Kathryn Cantrell) when she passed away left me a beautiful home site that she wanted me to build on and it’s my goal to come back and do that and retire here in Smithville and try to see how to contribute back to this beautiful community,” Cantrell said.
The prayer breakfast program included the following:
*Welcome by County Mayor Tim Stribling
*Opening prayer and Blessing by Chamber President Isaac Gray
*Presentation of Flags/Pledge by Boy Scout Troop #347
*National Anthem by Suzanne Slager
*Breakfast prepared by Jason Evans of The Inn at Evins Mill
*Special music by Suzanne Slager
*Prayer for the Military and Emergency Response Personnel by DeKalb Fire Chief Donny Green
*Scripture Reading by Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss
*Prayer for our Children and Families by Rita Bell, Haven of Hope
*Introduction of Speaker by Shan Burklow
*Keynote Speaker: Steve Cantrell
*Community and Leaders Prayer/Health and Healing for the Community by Nancy Trapp of Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital
*The Lord’s Prayer in unison led by Chamber Past President Kathy Hendrixson
*Announcements by Jen Sherwood.