Community learns about faith, leadership at prayer breakfast

HARLINGEN — Faith and leadership go hand in hand.

Tommy Bowden extended this message yesterday at the 9th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.

“Coaching is about leadership,” said Bowden, former Clemson University Football Coach, to a group of about 200 community members at the Harlingen Community Center.

He used his experience as a coach to relate the dynamics of faith and leadership.

“If you want to go into coaching, you’d better be a leader and you’d better not mind public scrutiny,” he said.

Everyone is a leader of some sort, he said.

“If you’re a mother, you’re leader, if you’re a father, you’re a leader,” he said. “If you’re a person of faith, you’re a leader whether you like it or not.”

He next quoted the late evangelist Billy Graham, “The moral meltdown in the United States comes from a lack of leadership. It would be tragic to divorce character from leadership. You can’t separate the two. If you’re going to be a leader, you’d better have integrity, you’d better have high standards and a moral compass.”

Bowden then spoke in depth about his own moral compass.

“My moral compass is determined by my faith,” he said. “My faith talks about a Creator, a God that created us in his image. He knew us in the womb, he wants a personal daily relationship with us.”

The message touched the hearts of many in attendance.

“It was a wonderful way to start the day,” said Kathy Preddy of United Way.

“Coach Bowden was so inspiring, listening to his stories and his experience in leading young men and now he’s leading people throughout the nation,” she said. “He’s a great man and a great teacher to all of us.”

Many could identify personally with Bowden’s message.

“We’re both 64, we both have the same moral compass, the things that have changed and shaped my life,” said City Commissioner Victor Leal.

“He allowed his faith to shine through the same way it shined through when he was a coach,” Leal said.

Mayor Chris Boswell was delighted by the turnout.

“I thought Coach Bowden gave a great message to the community about his faith and about the importance of faith in your everyday life,” he said.

Purpose of Mayor’s Prayer Brea

Purpose of Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

“To encourage the community to come out and try to get all walks, all faiths, all of our community to kind of get together and share in prayer and share a message of hope in faith.”

Mayor Chris Boswell