McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

April 14, 2014

Men's Holy Week Breakfasts begin

McALESTER — Tom Curtis spoke about the impact of several days of Holy Week during Monday’s opening session of this year’s Holy Week Breakfasts, held at the First Christian Church in McAlester.

Ninety-nine men and a few boys attended the Monday morning session, where they were served a breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits with sausage gravy, orange juice and coffee.

“We prepared for about 100 and we’ve got about 100,” said Bill McMahan, who served  as church representative  and who is an organizer of this week’s series of Holy Week Breakfasts.

All men and boys in McAlester and Pittsburg County are welcome to attend the breakfasts, organizers said.

McMahan invited Don Hackler to get things rolling Monday by leading a sing-along rendition of “God Bless America.”

Curtis, the featured speaker from All Saints’ Episcopal Church in McAlester, noted that Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday and continues until Easter Sunday.

“A highlight is Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey,” Curtis said.

“The next really notable time is Holy Thursday,” when Jesus had the Last Supper with his disciples,” he said.

“In between were some significant events, when Jesus went to the temple and cleaned house,” Curtis said, referring to the overturning of moneychangers’ tables at the site.

“Then there’s Good Friday, the Crucifixion, the Easter — a great celebration,” said Curtis.

Returning to the subject of the money changers, Curtis said “Jesus really made the priests mad when he cleansed the temple. Jesus was gaining power so they plotted to have him arrested and kill him.”

Curtis also spoke of one of his favorite Biblical passages.

“One of my favorite  Bible stories is when Jesus walked on the water,” Curtis said. He told how the disciples, on a boat during a storm on the Sea of Galilee, saw Jesus walking on the water, toward them.

The disciple Peter wanted to walk on the water too.

“He made a few steps,” Curtis said, until the waves drew his attention away from Jesus and he started to sink.

“The point is we need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus,”  he said.

Although Curtis said he’s reached the end of his notes, he made some additional remarks.

“Jesus will save our souls and give us a better way of life,” he said. One of things we might think of is how he gave us a better life in McAlester, America, said Curtis.

He suggested one of the things those who were present might think about is “What does God mean to me individually?”

Curtis said he’d been saved at the First Baptist Church of Atoka at a “very young” age.

“The invitation was given at the end of service,” Curtis said. He recalled how his mother would relate the story of what followed.

“She said she was singing and she turned around and I was gone,” Curtis said. “I was down front with Brother Justice,” getting saved, he said.

“That’s the story,” Curtis said.

“God sent Jesus. He loved the whole world so much, He gave His only Son.”

Curtis then recited parts of his favorite Bible verses, including a portion of the 23rd Psalm: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” and  Corinthians 13:13: “And now abideth faith, hope and charity... but the greatest of these is charity.”

The men at First Christian Church were assisted with the Monday morning breakfast by Mike Williams, the Rev. Cliff House and other volunteers from Lakewood Christian Church.

“They were shorthanded and we were readily available,” Williams said.

The First United Methodist Church hosted Tuesday’s Holy Week Breakfast.

Wednesday’s Holy Week Breakfast is set for 7 a.m. at All Saints’ Episcopal Church at 323 E. Washington Ave. Featured speaker is the Rev. Anthony Washington, of Mount Triumph Baptist Church, serving as guest speaker for St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

Contact James Beaty at

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