Joplin Pastor Speaks at Governor's Prayer Breakfast
JEFFERSON CITY - Pastor Randy Gariss thanked state political leaders Thursday morning at the annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast for their help in rebuilding Joplin after the May 22, 2011 tornado.
Governor Nixon chose Pastor Gariss as the keynote speaker for the event in early December.
Pastor Gariss has served as the preaching minister at Joplin's Christian Heights College Church for the past 30 years. He led the memorial service at Missouri State University one week after the tornado hit. The world-wide televised service included remarks from President Obama and Gov. Nixon.
The breakfast event takes place every year at the beginning of the General Assembly's legislative session. The inter-faith event has welcomed leaders and citizens of the state for over 50 years.
While discussing the destruction caused by the May 22 tornado in his speech, Pastor Garris said, "To those of you who are just neighbors, and treated us like neighbors, thank you. To those that hold public office, I'm telling you I am proud to be a citizen of the state of Missouri. It was one of our finest hours. We took care of people who were powerless to look after themselves, and you did it because you cared."
Proceeds from the event go toward the Governor's Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values.