Published 4:25 am Monday, March 29, 2021

On March 20, rivers of inspiration and hope poured from big screens in churches, from computer screens and cell phones, as viewers tuned in to the 15th Annual Finale Women for Christ Conference.  The virtual event, “Carry Your Candle,” streamed on Facebook Live, and the video remains on the Crenshaw County Women for Christ Facebook page for viewers to see.

Kim Hendrix was the first Women for Christ speaker in 2007 and again in 2010, and she was featured as speaker for the ministry’s final event. She did not disappoint, giving an outstanding and relevant message, “Holding On and Letting Go.”  Haley Spates Houston, who led worship at the 2013 and 2014 conferences, stirred the hearts of viewers as she sang about our great God.  She opened the conference with “Enter the Gates” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt that welcomed viewers to worship.  She closed out the conference with a beautiful rendition of “Carry Your Candle (Go Light Your World)” by Kathy Troccoli. This song was based on the theme Scripture, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). As she sang “Carry Your Candle,” pictures of the Women for Christ Steering Committee were shown.  The members are Tracy Baines, Shantel Barginere, Angela Carpenter, Helen Daniels, Linda Hogwood, Shanna Malone, Nancy Petrey, Debbie Roberts, Jackie Smith, Kathy Smyth, Ann Tate, Veronica Wiley, and Glenda Yancey. Theme scriptures from the 14 previous conferences appeared with the photos.

Exceeding all expectations, Facebook shows over 1700 views to date of the hour-long “Carry Your Candle” virtual event.  The on-line viewers are from Crenshaw County and surrounding counties, as well as from other parts of Alabama, and from other states, including Florida, Texas, California, and Maryland.  Steering Committee member Nancy Petrey says, “We had prayed that God would multiply our gathering in many locations, and we are in awe of the number of people who have watched.  We hope the number increases as Facebook viewers share the video.”  Comments include, “I can feel our Father in this place even sitting at my computer!”  Another said, “What a blessing to worship this beautiful morning at home, while my baby boy plays and my baby girl naps.”  Another participant said God gave her direction about a career move.  And yet another who had been wrought with anxiety for 8 months feels hopeful again.

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The Women for Christ ministry is an interdenominational fellowship.  Its mission has been to encourage women through fellowship to be faithful, fruitful followers of Christ, based on John 15:5.  Ann Tate, Chairman of the Steering Committee, said, “Our heartfelt desire has been to glorify God by finishing well. We believe God orchestrated every part of the final conference, and we already see Him at work, moving beyond our ministry.”

On behalf of the Steering Committee, Tate continued, “We are sincerely grateful to all who have supported the Women for Christ ministry for the last 15 years.  It has been a joy to serve women from hundreds of churches and communities, and we will treasure the memories and the friendships we have made.  We trust God to continue to make a way for women’s ministry to grow and glow.”