Outgoing governor Bob Holden, a Democrat, urged support for his successor, Matt Blunt, during the annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast for Missouri Jan. 6 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.
Holden wished Blunt, who was in the audience, success as the new governor of Missouri. "He's a good man. He needs our help. Let's get behind him," the governor said.
After asking the audience to pause for a moment of prayer "for all those who serve our country and find themselves in harm's way," Holden thanked his staff, cabinet and state employees "for their dedicated service to me and to the people of Missouri."
Participating in one of his final public events as governor, Holden said he was pleased that after a great deal of rhetoric -- an apparent reference to a heated campaign -- "we can gather together to pray in this room."
In challenging the next generation of statewide leaders, Holden referenced James 2:14, calling the passage a reminder "that we are judged not by our words but our deeds."
"It is easy to bow to political expediency" rather than to pursue good public policy, he said, noting that public servants have the responsibility to preserve faith for future generations.
"As I bid you farewell, I ask you to join me in prayer that [current leaders] will have the faith, the strength and the wisdom to face the challenges that lie ahead," Holden said.
The events had a definite Baptist flavor with soloist Julie Watson sang the national anthem and led the audience in singing "God Bless America." Watson, a member of First Baptist Church of Jefferson City, also was a part of the congregation's praise team, which provided special music.