What was formerly the Branson Mayors Prayer Breakfast has a new name and a new location.

After prayerful consideration the organizing committee for Branson Christian Business Men’s Committee decided to change the name from Branson Mayors Prayer Breakfast to OZARK MOUNTAIN PRAYER BREAKFAST (TM), according to CBMC President, Bill Budnick.

 Budnick said the committee appreciates the mayors who have participated in this event over the past 12 years, especially Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley who lent her support since she was elected.

However, because the organization has a new location and the opportunity to reach more people, they chose to rename the event to reflect their desire to be more inclusive.

The new location is the Branson Convention Center in Downtown Branson. As in the past, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, according to advanced ticket sales.

Tickets are on sale now for the event. Because of the underwriting of area businesses, CBMC has been able to keep ticket prices comparable to previous years.

Individual advanced tickets are still $25 and $27.50 at the door (as available) and tables of eight may be sponsored for $185.00. 

The breakfast event includes a hot and hearty breakfast, inspirational songs, prayers led by local pastors and ministry leaders, the presentation of the Kingdom Builder Award, and the keynote address.

This year, the keynote address will be given by Emeal (E.Z.) Zwayne, Executive Vice President of Living Waters, the ministry of Ray Comfort. Living Waters produces the popular TV show, “The Way of the Master,” which is co-hosted by Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron, which helps prepare Christians to confidently share the gospel even in the most adverse circumstances. 
This ministry also developed 180, an award winning movie that gives another perspective on abortion. According to Ray Comfort, President of Living Waters, “more often than not, those who watch it do a complete 180.”

Everyone is invited to this regional prayer event. OZARK MOUNTAIN PRAYER BREAKFAST(TM), celebrating the National Day of Prayer, will be held Thursday, May 2, 2013 beginning promptly at 6:45 a.m. and ending promptly at 8:30 a.m.

According to Budnick, “Our goal remains the same: to glorify our Heavenly Father and his son, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for an hour and forty-five minutes, and to join our voices with those around the nation in prayer for our regions, states, country, our elected officials and those who bravely serve in our nation’s military.”

Click here for more information.



Introduced to Branson several years ago by Revival Fires Ministry Leader Cecil Todd, mega-minister John Hagee has maintained a close connection with the community. He continues that connection by bringing his John Hagee Rally and Concert to the Hilton Branson Convention Center on March 22, at 7 p.m.

Canton Junction and Aaron and Amanda Crabb will be featured in concert.  Canton Junction is a toe-tapping four-square sound creating quartet consisting of Hagee’s son and ministry leader-in-waiting, Matthew Hagee, Michael Sykes, Tim Duncan and Aaron Crabb.

According to Hagee, the mission of John Hagee Ministries is to “aggressively fulfill the commission that Jesus Christ gave to his followers to go into the world and make disciples of all people,” he says.

“Our purpose is to bring the lost to Jesus Christ and to build up and encourage those who are already believers. We pledge to our viewers & supporters to take The Gospel to all the World and to all Generations.”

This square-jawed, podium thumping Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, is the founder of the San Antonio based non-denominational evangelical church with more than 20,000 active members. Hagee telecasts his message to national radio and television stations and throughout 249 nations worldwide, according to his ministry website.


A devoted love for the land and people of Israel is a hallmark of Hagee’s ministry which has given more than $69 million toward humanitarian causes in Israel. In 2006, Dr. Hagee founded, and is the National Chairman of Christians United For Israel (CUFI), a grass roots national association “through which every pro—Israel Christian ministry, para-church organization, or individual in America can speak and act with one voice in support of Israel in matters related to biblical issues,” says Hagee.

Each year, Hagee gains support for this cause by conducting A Night to Honor Israel in every major city in America and by organizing an annual Washington D.C.-Israel Summit where CUFI delegates have the opportunity to meet the members of congress face to face on behalf of Israel. Christians United for Israel has grown to become the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States – with over one million members– and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world.


Hagee has been married to his wife, Diana for years and together they have five children and a bundle of grandchildren. Diana Hagee, a folksy, sweet pastor’s wife, shares family moments, personal insights and recipes in her One Way Everyday Blog at

John Hagee, built like a cornerstone, upends traditional church norms on occasion when he reaches for his saxophone and lays in some sweet soul behind Canton Junction.

That in itself is worth a look and listen. Perhaps he’ll do this in Branson.

More information about John Hagee and his rally and concert in Branson can be found at:






BLOOM is an odd name for a church, but not an odd thing for church members to do.




That’s why Mike Carlton and his wife, Amanda, felt the call of God to plant a new house of worship for the body of Christ in Branson.

Carlton said when they decided to obey the call, they contacted six of their closest friends and had a launch meeting. Eventually the group grew to 30 people.

“We were organically grown,” says Carlton.

Bloom Church held its first service last Sunday, March 3, in the Americana Theatre on West Highway 76.

“That was just a blessing because God put us into relationship with the Haygoods,” says Carlton.


Bloom Church staff and members are devoting themselves to being champions for people’s dreams. “We want to discover where their hearts are, what God has put in their hearts and then help them do it. We rally behind them to help them live their callings,” says Carlton.


Carlton’s wife, Amanda, is leading the ministry for children which they have generously help populate with their three-year-old tripletts.

Bloom Church’s volunteer staff also includes Youth Pastors Tyler and Dana Morton, Worship Pastor Ernie Garza, who along with his wife Sarah, daughters Jordan and Mayah, and son Jaxton, recently moved from Idaho to Branson to be a part of what God is doing at Bloom Church.

Bloom’s Creative Director is Scott Richards, who fills a position not often fully considered in churches today. Carlton says he “really believes the church needs to be epicenter of community. I feel the greatest minds in the community should be bringing things such as video elements to hit a wide-range of audiences.”

Carlton makes it clear however, that this is no church meeting in order to entertain. He says Bloom loves people and truly desires to see people walk in a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Bloom Church members are community-minded and missions-minded. They support church plants in other communities and missionaries in Israel.

Carlton and his wife were staffers at Master’s Commission in Springfield for five years and for eleven years have been devoted to discipleship and building the Kingdom of God through his son, Jesus Christ. They most recently served as Associate Pastors at Common Ground in Springfield.

Bloom church has a “definite appeal to younger families with children,” says Carlton, but he insists older couples are also welcomed to the congregation.

“We’re about building healthy life-giving relationships.”

Bloom Church’s Sunday service begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Americana Theatre on West Highway 76, Branson.

More information can be found at Pastor Mike Carlton can be reached at 417-234-7359.




There are probably not many times you’ve ever heard this kind of introduction:

“Hi, I’m Riley. I’m a teenager on a mission to change the world…loving ONE child at a time.”

Meet Riley Banks, a Branson High School student, who is putting her money where

her mouth is and doing just that.

In fact, she’s doing so much more than that.

After a mission trip to the country of Kenya in 2010, Riley’s tender heart was broken as she watched school children share a pencil while she thought about the tons of resources American children have available to them.

That was the embryo of a thought that would shortly become her mission.

Riley says that’s why she started Generation Next, a non-profit organization that will  “provide under privileged children all over the world with a backpack full of school supplies, for their educational learning as well as a Bible for their spiritual learning.” Riley calls them “Supplies for Life!”

Since that time, Riley has done more than gather pencils for school children. In 2012 she distributed a massive number of  hygiene kits from donations she collected, sponsored a medical clinic,  and built a school.

Along with being a devoted high school student, Riley manages Generation Next, collects donations and writes her own blog.

Little wonder why she’s been featured on KSPR Hometown Heros, Rural Missouri Magazine, and 417 Magazine.

On February 22, at the Pure Joy Celebration held at Sight and Sound Theatre, Riley was honored before nearly two thousand women with the Pure Joy Award.

“I just want to help people,” she says.





Visitors and residents of Branson alike might be blinded by the pure light of joy shining from Sight and Sound Theatre’s hill just off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway this Friday, February 22 at 7 p.m.  Bringing to mind the verse in Revelation 21:24, “And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it,” a couple thousand woman of all ages are planning to gather from the north, south, east and west to celebrate one person–The King of Glory.

Betsy Cribbs, one of the organizers of the annual Branson event says, “WOHOOO!!! We are getting very close to PURE JOY and we are SO EXCITED!!!”

The number of exclaimation points used are absolutely necessary to convey the excitement and energy organizers bring to this multi-denominational celebration of life in Jesus Christ. The event is free to women of all ages and offered on a first come, first served basis so Cribbs urges women to “come early if you want to be guaranteed a seat.” The first 2,000 women will be seated in the theatre. An overflow room featuring seating for an additional 245 women with a live feed to it via projector is also available.

Lobby doors will open at 5:45 and the house will open at 6:00.

This year event organizers have a full schedule of give-aways which will begin at 6:15  and continue periodically until 6:50 when the anxiously anticipated reveal of the Real Life winner will be announced. Women are encouraged to visit Pure Joy’s facebook page and post a picture depicting “real life” women in real life situations. Photos include the lumberjack photo of one woman who has steadfastly refused to shave her legs…for a very long time, to photos of mounds of laundry waiting for attention, to photos of piles of children needing maternal loving.


Pure Joy also includes dynamic worship lead by a team of singers from many different churches and will also include numbers presented by the multi-denominational Pure Joy Choir. Impactful and entertaining skits will also be presented including a special visit from The Church Lady, an annual favorite with Pure Joy women.

Perhaps one of the most moving parts of the Pure Joy celebration is the cardboard testimony and the featured testimonies where women from all walks of life share their stories of overcoming and moving into victory in Jesus Christ.

A generous and artfully done smattering of video clips keeps the pace lively and upbeat creating a positive and encouraging experience for those in attendance.

“This is probably the most anticipated event of the year for Christian women in the Branson region,” says Michelle Dean, a local volunteer who manages everything from T-shirt sales, to prop moving, to acting in skits.


To say that she is both a challenger and a cheerleader is to put Suzette Brawner in a category that is too confining for her but that’s her true gifting. Brawner, who has survived raising her own brood, including Branson’s star football-player-turned-doctor Travis Brawner, speaks frequently on issues related to mothering, daughtering, successful matrimony, and growing comfortable with the reality of herself. She is a published author who believes her biggest claim to fame is her progeny which she frequently enjoys along with her husband, Jim.

Pure Joy, in the purest sense, is a celebration of life with Jesus Christ. Women who have never met and trusted Christ as their savior will have the opportunity to do so. Others who have been discouraged in their faith will be encouraged. Women who have endured heavy trials and troubles will find their spirits envigorated and energized by attending Pure Joy, according to the organizers.