Hon. Albert Ridge, nominated to the US District Court by Franklin D. Roosevelt and to the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals by John F. Kennedy, spoke at the first KC Mayors' Prayer Breakfast in 1962.

A group of KC Area leaders, including Kansas City Missouri Mayor H. Roe Bartle, attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., which was started by President Eisenhower in 1953 and has been held annually ever since. Each year, on the first Thursday in February, the President, Vice President, Members of Congress and leaders from around the world gather together on the shared principles of the teachings of Jesus to build bridges of understanding and fellowship across divides.


Inspired by what he experienced at the breakfast, Mayor Bartle asked a group of friends to create a similar event here in Kansas City. The Committee for the Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast was founded in 1961, and the first breakfast was held on February 22, 1962. The organization was founded as a lay group that did not include elected officials or members of the clergy.  And the name Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast – with Mayors’ being plural – was chosen because the vision was to include communities within the bi-state Kansas City Area.  And those remain key tenets of the breakfast.


Thousands of individuals have attended these annual breakfast events in Kansas City. The organization has now expanded beyond an annual event to be a catalyst for equipping and organizing leaders and individuals throughout the bi-state region for times of prayer and coming together as a one community under God.