Tennessee Prayer Breakfast features governor, World Vision president

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The Citizens Committee for Prayer hosted the 37th annual Tennessee Prayer Breakfast April 14, 2011, on the campus of Lipscomb University. Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle and the Nashville Choir were featured at the breakfast. Gov. Bill Haslam, Lt. Gov. Rom Ramsey and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell participated in the morning’s activities.

“We are glad that people from across Tennessee came together to share a moment of vision and add their voices in prayer for our state, our local communities and the governmental officials who lead them as they guide our state through very challenging times,” said Joe Ivey, chair of the Tennessee Prayer Breakfast Citizens Committee and clinical professor of management at Lipscomb.

Stearns is president of World Vision, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. After a quarter-century business career, he joined World Vision in 1998, guiding the Christian relief and development organization to unprecedented growth and calling on the American Church to respond to the global AIDS pandemic.

World Vision has more than 1,300 staff in the United States and partners with U.S. corporations, government agencies, foundations, churches and more than a million individual donors to help children and their communities reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. It is the largest member of the global World Vision Partnership, which last year touched the lives of an estimated 100 million people internationall. ySince joining World Vision, Stearns has built a strong leadership team focused on bringing corporate best practices to the non-profit sector and inspiring a culture of outcome-focused management at all levels of the organization. Donations have tripled from $358 million in 1998 to over $1 billion in 2008, and overhead has been reduced by almost one-third.

Doolittle became a household name on season six of American Idol. She holds a music degree from Belmont University in Nashville and honed her skills as a background singer with the Gospel group Anointed.  Doolittle has carved out a niche in the Nashville music scene, singing background for musical legends such as Michael McDonald, Aretha Franklin, and Aaron Neville, before finishing third on the sixth season of American Idol. Since that time, Doolittle performed at prestigious venues such as the White House, the Musicians Hall of Fame, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. She released her debut album, “Coming Back to You” in 2009.

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