Azusa Leaders Unite in Prayer

by Tracy Prouty

Azusa Pacific University played host to the first Azusa Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in 15 years on May 28. This event brought together Azusa Mayor Joseph Rocha, Azusa leaders, APU community members, and local church pastors under one belief: the power of prayer. Attendees took part in times of prayer, worshipped through music, and listened to messages from Mayor Rocha and Bruce Baloian, Ph.D., APU professor of biblical studies.

Samuel Martinez, pastor at Christian Faith Center, opened the morning with a prayer for the city. He asked that Azusa would have a united vision and continue to build community.

In his speech, Mayor Rocha reflected on his life, and the people and events that have shaped his character. A lifelong Azusa resident, he recently retired from teaching in Azusa Unified School District after 38 years. 
“Look at each table and you will see people who have impacted my life,” said Mayor Rocha.
The event also honored the work that has been done by the five food banks serving the city. Center Esperanza, the Foursquare Church, Pathfinder Ministry, Village Covenant, and St. Frances of Rome all provide essential services to those in need. 
The morning event centered on the importance of prayer for individuals and as a community. Anna Aguilar, administrative assistant in APU’s Office of World Missions and event vocalist, noted the change that comes about when people join in prayer. Baloian echoed this belief and called upon those present to acknowledge that were part ofsomething that was bigger than each of them as individuals.
“The history of Azusa, no matter where we come from, is one history,” said Baloian.