Published: August 22, 2012
By: Jeff Benedict
Ken Hutchins was a 27-year-old police sergeant in Walpole, Mass., when two Mormon missionaries visited his home in 1968 and invited him to read the Book of Mormon. A few visits later they taught him what they termed "the pattern of prayer" – address Heavenly Father, speak from the heart, and close in the name of Jesus Christ. Hutchins, a protestant, had never prayed aloud. But at the missionaries' urging, he tried it and soon thereafter joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
That was forty-four years ago. Since then he has given hundreds of prayers from the heart in Mormon congregations throughout the greater Boston area as a bishop and later as a stake president. Next week, at Mitt Romney's invitation, the 71-year-old retired police chief from Walpole will give the opening prayer on the final day of the Republican National Convention.
"I am honored and stunned," Hutchins said in an interview from his home in Northboro, where he is recovering from chemotherapy treatment. He has active lymphoma. "I plan to be in good enough shape by next week to travel to Tampa and do what Mitt has asked."