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Known for food, 'Famous Dave' talks faith at Cottage Grove prayer breakfast

Dave Anderson of the "Famous Dave's" barbecue restaurant chain, speaks at the Cottage Grove Area Prayer Breakfast Thursday, Nov. 3 in Cottage Grove. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente

Restaurateur Dave Anderson of the "Famous Dave's" barbecue chain told a Cottage Grove crowd Thursday that faith changed his life.

Anderson was the keynote speaker at the sixth-annual Cottage Grove Area Prayer Breakfast. The event drew more than 100 civic, education and business leaders from throughout south Washington County.

Anderson shared his life story, pointing to his discovery of faith as a turning point as he recovered from addiction and later built a restaurant business.

After spending a significant portion of his childhood in his family's church activities, Anderson said, he turned to partying and substance abuse in his late teen and early 20s.

Relatives intervened, Anderson sought professional treatment and he said he found the power of prayer.

"I'm not embarrassed to say God changed my life," he said.

Anderson's "Famous Dave's" chain has restaurants in 37 states. A Native American, Anderson is a motivational speaker, known for his work with at-risk youth and served as the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"My story is a story about hope and never ever giving up that things can change," he said.

Anderson encouraged prayer breakfast attendees to be proud of their faith and to express it in society.

Youth, in particular, need to know the power of prayer, he said.

"Our kids are growing up with more of the tragedies of life and yet spiritualness isn't keeping up," Anderson said.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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