Christian Fellowship Breakfast History
Christian Fellowship Breakfast began in 1966 when a small group of Northwestern Mutual agents and spouses met at the Milwaukee YMCA to pray for one of their friends who had recently had a serious stroke. Inspired by the uplifting fellowship, they sought a way to share their experience with the broader Northwestern Mutual community. Led by Royden W. Behmer, they decided to create a event that would allow Northwestern Mutual agents and their families to gather for a time of testimony and prayer before the Annual Meeting in Milwaukee.
The following year they were able to bring their goal to fruition and the first Christian Fellowship Breakfast was held at 6:45 am in July of 1967. Despite the early time and rigorous company agenda, the first event was successfully launched with 22 participants. Although the level of participation wavered in the years following the debut, the Christian Fellowship Breakfast steadily gained momentum and attendance; 10 years later the breakfast served 250 participants.
In the next years, the positive impact of the breakfast was evident from not only increased attendance but also stories of attendees giving their life to Christ. Encouraged by these results and eager to further spread the gospel, William Jordan started the first Southern Regional Breakfast in 1976. The other Regions followed and beginning in 2009 there have been breakfasts at all four Regional meetings as well as the annual meeting in Milwaukee.
Along with Regional expansion has also come the testimony of countless incredible speakers including Col. Nimrod McNair, Kim Anthony, Mark Whitacre, Ken Blanchard, Dan Reeves, Bob Milligan, Foster Friess, Jim Amos, Ben Carson and Norm Miller. Nearly 50 years later, Christian Fellowship Breakfast has gone from a few believers with a passion for fellowship to a 501c3 that serves thousands of Northwestern Mutual agents and their families across the nation, with 1,977 attendees at 2015 Milwaukee alone, and 3,615 total in all five events.