Golfer Tom Lehman offers keynote at annual prayer breakfast

About 1,000 people showed up for the annual Charleston Leadership Prayer Breakfast, organized by the Charleston Leadership Foundation. Golfer Tom Lehman was the keynote speaker. (Adam Parker/ 10/9/12

Tom Lehman, one of the world’s finest golfers, has struggled with perfection.

For years, he tried to achieve it. When he failed, he felt guilty, ashamed, depressed.

Then, in 1998, after imperfections and missteps had stacked up, Lehman came to the back nine, a realization that signaled the start of the second act of his life: God had long forgiven him; now it was time to forgive himself.

This was the core of his message Tuesday morning at the annual Charleston Leadership Prayer Breakfast, an ecumenical Christian event that drew about 1,000 to the Charleston Area Convention Center.

The breakfast, now in its 11th year, is organized by the nonprofit Charleston Leadership Foundation, attended by politicians, business leaders and others, and supported financially by local corporations, churches and individuals.

The mission of the prayer breakfast is “to encourage Christian leaders of the community to come together in a forum designed to introduce people to the Gospel and learn about how Christ can change lives.”

The effort also raises money for Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Be A Mentor and the Lunch Buddy program.

Christian service was a theme addressed by Lehman. He described his effort to reconcile the what he called the selfish sport of golf, which is “totally me-focused,” with the imperative to help others.

Read more in Wednesday’s editions of The Post and Courier.