Prayer Breakfast For Fallen Volunteer Firefighters - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/11/07-Bullard

Prayer Breakfast For Fallen Volunteer Firefighters

It's been more than a week now since East Texas lost two of its volunteer firefighters, and still the community is coming together in healing.  Saturday morning, Bullard First Baptist Church held a Prayer Breakfast in memory of Noonday Volunteer Firefighters Austin Cheek and Captain Kevin Williams.  The breakfast was not about looking back, but looking forward by thanking all East Texas volunteer firefighters.

Dozens of firefighters from Bullard, Flint-Gresham, and Noonday loaded their plates up at Saturday morning's prayer breakfast, but it's more than just good food, it's a meal with a message.

"It helps us as firefighters," said Bullard Volunteer Fire Chief Keith Newburn.  "It helps us to heal and deal with the situation."  With the room still and heads bowed, all gathered in prayer, not only to remember Austin Cheek and Kevin Williams, but to genuinely thank volunteer firefighters everywhere.

"The volunteer fire departments are the organizations you expect to be there when the phone rings, but you kind of take for granted that they're there," says Newburn.  Church members say last week's tragic event made them see just how heroic volunteer firefighters are.

"It's helped me to realize the sacrifices these folks make," said Men's Ministry Leader Don Bryd.  "They're not paid one cent for what they do.  They have to give up time for their lives.  They have to risk their lives, and it's just a total sacrifice on their part in serving our community."  Now, it's the community's turn to give undying support to the men and women who risk their lives everyday and always remember Austin Cheek and Kevin Williams who truly laid down their lives for a friend.

The prayer breakfast was put on by the church's men's group, which meets every Saturday morning for praise and worship.

Tracy Watler. Reporting, tracy@kltv.com

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