Members of the Fort Leonard Wood community gathered for a time of prayer and to welcome back a former Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general during the installation’s 2018 National Prayer Breakfast event, Tuesday at Pershing Community Center.
R.L. Van Antwerp, who also served as Chief of Engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, served as keynote speaker for the event.
Chaplain (Maj.) Tony Cech, event organizer and 1st Engineer Brigade chaplain, welcomed participants to the event.
“Faith has always been a vital part of our American military heritage,” Cech said. “Today we have the opportunity to celebrate service and faith in a profession of arms. Our community is also made up of people from many faith traditions. Today we gather to request God’s wisdom for our nation, our government leaders and our military leaders.”
Following a buffet breakfast, various chaplains offered prayers for the nation, government leaders, military and the community.
Maj. Gen. Kent Savre, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, welcomed Van Antwerp back to the installation and encouraged the attendees to embrace spiritual fitness as a form of total fitness.
“This military life that we live and that we are committed to…it’s a tough life,” Savre said. “There are times apart, there are challenges. You need to be fit to be a leader in this business. I believe in total fitness and certainly a piece of that is spiritual fitness.”
As Savre welcomed Van Antwerp, he noted that he was a leader in spiritual fitness and personal character.
Van Antwerp spoke to the crowd about “life purpose,” and said his mission is to “ignite a passion for leadership growth in the universe of leaders.”
He said he wants to see leaders have a desire to lead others well.
“God will give you time to do well those things that he wants you to do,” Van Antwerp said.
He said his family does a yearly thing called “one word.” Each family member chooses a word and makes it their theme for the year.
“Take a word and make a commitment with a word – a plan for your life,” Van Antwerp said.
“This year’s word – grateful; I am practicing an attitude of gratitude. If you want to make a commitment, you have got to practice the right things. My question to you, is there one word this year that God would place on you?”
He encouraged the audience to lead well and to pray about one word that can define their philosophy.
“That is my message to you today, to think about your one word, and think about what your purpose is for God,” Van Antwerp said.