Organizers with the 66th annual Neosho Laymen’s League pre-Christmas services are gearing up for the weeklong event.
The event will be held from 6-7 a.m. starting Monday, Dec. 17 and ending on Friday, Dec. 21, at this year’s host church, Bible Holiness Assembly of God Church, 614 N. High St., Neosho. All men are invited to this worthy service.
The mornings begin at 6 a.m. with a period of fellowship with coffee and doughnuts. Then the services begin at 6:30 a.m., with music, scriptures, prayers and the keynote speaker. Each speaker will speak about “What Christmas Means to Me.”
The speakers are as follows:
• David Laymen, former manager of La-Z-Boy Midwest in Neosho, will be the speaker on Monday;
• Kim Mailes, longtime Neosho businessman, will be the speaker on Tuesday;
• Stuart Puckett, executive vice president of Arvest Bank, Joplin, will be the speaker on Wednesday;
• Thursday is youth day and Josh Depoe, Neosho Middle School physical education teacher, will be the speaker; and
• Friday’s speaker will be Bobby Bryant, agent for American Family Insurance, Neosho.
“We are honored that we would be considered to host it,” said Ray Prihoda, this year’s Laymen’s League president. “I think that the last time we hosted it was 20 years ago. That just shows that there are a lot of churches in the community that take pride in this kind of thing at Christmas and I think that is really special. And we are proud to be part of it.”
Prihoda encourages men of all faiths to attend this non-denominational service.
“I encourage men of all ages and all faiths to attend, because Christmas is about the Christ Child,” he said.
The song leader this year will be Don Bright, with Josh Simpson as the accompanist.
Success of this venture exceeded expectations and received national publicity through printing of an article in Time magazine on Dec. 29, 1947, in the religion section. The following is a selection from the article.
“About 5,000 people live in the little community of Neosho. This year, as the Christmas season began, Attorney Wayne Slankard and a few of his friends felt an urge to do something special, they wanted to come closer to the spiritual meaning of Christ’s