About the NPC
Started organically by a small group of national ministry leaders in the early 1970s, America’s National Prayer Committee (NPC) officially became a 501c3 organization in 1979, organized by Mrs. Vonette Bright, co-founder of CRU (formerly Campus Crusade International). God has used this growing coalition to directly shape American history through its influence and outcomes. Representing over 100 diverse ministries and leaders, the NPC continues to guide and unite the prayer movement in the United States.
The current Chairman of the NPC is Rev. Geoff Eckart.
Previous Chairpersons were: Mrs. Vonette Bright, Dick Eastman, David Bryant, and Rev. Dave Butts.
Learn more of the NPC’s history here.
The National Prayer Committee begins as a subcommittee on prayer at the International Congress on World Evangelization held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1974. Out of the Lausanne gathering came the U.S. Lausanne Committee, now Mission America, and America’s National Prayer Committee. Mrs. Vonette Bright was appointed to the Prayer Advisory Group.
The first members are selected for the Prayer Advisory Group: Dr. Dick Eastman, Mr. Frank Insen (World Vision), Millie Dienert, Evelyn Christenson, and Vonette Bright. Dr. Harold Lindsell of Christianity Today also met regularly with the group at the Christian Embassy in Washington D.C.
The National Prayer Committee is officially formed. Today there are 18 members on the NPC Executive Board. Federal EIN: 75-1914068, Exempt 501(c)3
Businessman Joe Mays (Religious Heritage of America), David Bryant, and the NPC group meet to cast the first vision for the National Day of Prayer. Contacts were made with the Public Liaison office of the White House to begin planning efforts.
The first National Day of Prayer observance, organized by the NPC, takes place at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. with featured speakers Vice President George Bush and Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie.
Vonette Bright and the National Prayer Committee ask Senate leadership for guidance on writing a bill that would designate a day for the National Day of Prayer.
A bill is written and introduced to the Senate Judiciary Committee as bill S.1378, which would amend public law 82-324. While Senator Thurmond works the bill through the Senate, Congressman Tony Hall champions the bill through the House of Representatives.
In total, 13 Senators and 90 Congressmen signed, giving their endorsements.
The following individuals sponsored the bill:
- Congressman Tony Hall (D-Ohio)
- Congressman Carlos Moorhead (R-California)
- Senator Howard Heflin (D-Alabama)
- Senator Strom Thurmond (R-South Carolina)
- Senator Bill Armstrong (R-Colorado)
- Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia)
- Congressman Bob Garcia (D-New York)
Rabbi Haberman and Rabbi Tanenbaum express their support of the bill.
- On April 22 – The bill is passed in the Senate
- On April 25 – It is sent to the House of Representatives
- On May 2 – The bill is passed in the House
- On May 3 – It is signed in the Senate
- On May 4 – The Senate presents the legislation to President Reagan
- On May 5 – Ronald Reagan signs into law Public Law 100-307 the designation of the first Thursday in May as the annual observance of the National Day of Prayer.
The National Prayer Committee is lead by an Executive Board of Directors.
The Board in alphabetical order:
U.S. based prayer ministries that are regionally and/or nationally focused can become members of the NPC. Membership includes access to network and relational connections with other members as well as exclusive opportunities like attending the annual National Day of Prayer events in Washington DC.