Union Baptist Conference Promotes 'Total Woman'
By Sarah Steele Wilson
Jul 18, 2012, 12:49
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Reverend Arcelia “CeCe” Jackson offered the Women’s Day Conference opening service on Friday night.
The Union Baptist Church in Hopewell held its annual Women’s Day Conference over the weekend, offering worship sessions and workshops for all who attended.
Beverlynn Powell, who arranged this year’s event with the theme “Being the Total Woman Victoriously,” said that the annual conference, which has been taking place for at least 20 years, was started at the church by former Union Baptist First Lady Ruth Harris.
“She actually started it here and we’ve just been keeping it going throughout the years,” Powell said.
“The purpose of the Women’s Day program is to get women to be able to stand up and speak in front of crowds and be able to commit themselves to talking about what’s going on, to be able to have a platform and not be ashamed of what it is that they’re trying to project to the community,” Powell explained.
Powell said that the conference would feature four workshops on Saturday on the topics of wealth, wisdom, worship and witness.
She said that a woman from the City of Chesapeake budgeting committee would be coming to talk to participants about wealth while several visiting religious figures from other churches would address wisdom and worship. Mrs. Virginia, Brandi Pope, would speak about witness, Powell said.
On Friday night, Reverend Arcelia “CeCe” Jackson, First Lady at the Seventh Street Memorial Baptist Church in Richmond, visited Union Baptist to offer the Kick-Off Service for the conference.
In a passionate and animated service arranged around the Bible’s Book of Esther, Jackson encouraged the women present to make their relationship with God “intensely personal.”
“Esther said, this time, it’s intensely personal,” Jackson said describing Esther’s decision to petition her king to save her people. “My people will perish if I do nothing.”
Jackson encouraged her audience to see the Lord as the King and not be afraid to ask Him for help.
“I need the Lord to do something for me,” she said. “This time, it’s intensely personal.”
“You’ve prayed for everybody else. When was the last time you prayed for yourself?” she asked the audience, telling them not to feel guilty about needing help from God.
At the end of the service, current Union Baptist First Lady Kimberly I. King encouraged everyone to return to the church for more events on Saturday and Sunday.
“You need to be here tomorrow morning sharp, because we’re going to have a good time,” she said. “And I want you to bring somebody with you. The more the merrier.”
Pastor Joshua N. King, Sr. told the audience he was already looking forward to next year’s conference, which he described as an opportunity to “renew your spirit.”