This Blog features important life lessons by the many contributors across the Church of God by Faith, Inc. Every post is original and addresses many important issues of our time. This page is in remembrance one of the many great ByFaith women, Mother Essie Scippio. Select your topic top right and enjoy.
Abused but not Defeated
Written by Lady Peggy Copeland, Alabama District
Elect Lady Peggy Warren Copeland has the heart of a true servant. She is gifted in the area of hospitality. She is a twin and the oldest of seven girls who were born to Oral B. and Jackie Warren. She graduated from Andalusia High School and attended Lurleen B Wallace College. She retired from Auburn University. She married Dr. Robert L. Copeland, Sr. and they have 12 children together. Her husband is the co-founder and pastor of Living Word Church of God by Faith in Malone, Florida.
You would think that in the year 2015, so many women being abused in their homes would be obsolete. With all of the outreach programs, women shelters and seminars geared toward abuse, you would think women could easily escape abuse. I've learn that women between the ages of 18 to 34 are at greater risk of becoming victims of domestic violence. More than four million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners. One and three female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partners every year. (Domestic violence; statistics, and facts-safe horizon).
I would like to share my story with the hope that it might educate, equip and enlighten some woman who may be headed in that direction. I was 18 at the time; was considered young and naïve. I married my childhood sweetheart. If you really want to know my full story watch the movie, The Burning Bed because my story is similar.
I always considered myself smart enough to see and know the signs of abuse but I still somehow found myself there.
THE WARNING SIGNS
I eloped and moved to Jacksonville, FL. During our courtship, he was the perfect gentleman. My mother didn’t particularly care for him. In my mind, I was thinking she didn’t want me to be happy which drove me closer to him. One month into my marriage, he cheated on me. Then came the verbal abuse; tearing my confidence and character down and isolation came next. He would not allow me to go anywhere or be near his friends and most of all, my family. It was so subtle at first and I felt special like he was my protector. With physical abuse, it usually starts mentally. By the time it develops, you think it’s your fault and you’re ashamed that someone you love would hurt you in this manner.
MY FIRST BEATING
I will never forget the first beating he gave me. I went to the grocery store in which he worked and one of his co-workers told me I was pretty. When he got off work, he beat me. He would lock me in the house when he went to work and removed all the breakers from the utility box so I couldn't cook.
Then, he would come home and beat me because supper was not ready. I endured all this because my grandmother and mother words kept ringing in my ear,”you made your bed, you lay in it.” I knew if I had listened to my mother, I would not be in this situation, I thought.
SUFFERING IN SILENCE
I was raised in church but had not made Jesus my personal savior. I was too ashamed to tell anyone what he was doing to me. This was in the 70’s, and the authorities were not your friend when it came to domestic abuse. I am sure that some of them were beating their wives.
To make a long story short, I made up in my mind that he had three strikes and I was gone for good. The last beating I endured made me realize that he was mentally disturbed and I had nothing to do with why he was abusing me.
MY CHANCE TO ESCAPE
The last beating left me bloody and injured. He sat there and started to have a normal conversation like I was not bleeding and bloody. I knew at that moment that he was crazy. The phone rang and I had a split second to make a decision to run for the door. I grabbed my babies, as I tried to figure out which keys unlocked the burglar bars and doors. It was only God protecting me at that moment. My abuser realized I was trying to leave -- the door swung open and I made my escape with two of my children in my hands. I walked to a neighbor’s house and they took me to my godmother’s house. The man of that house gave me money for pampers and enough money to go home.
FINDING THE LOVE OF CHRIST
I returned home, joined a church and received Christ as my personal savior. With Christ in my life, leading and guiding me, I raised five children without child support, food stamps, or aid. (I’m not knocking anyone who received these.) It would have been great help if I had received social services help but my ex-husband’s family was very influential in my town. I could not get help.
Philippians 4:19 reads: And my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches and glory by Christ Jesus.
When Satan got through "whupping" up on me, no one could ever remove these scriptures from my heart.
Romans: 8:28- And we know that all things work together for good to those who love god to them who are called according to his purpose.
Hebrew: 11:1-Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
GETTING MY "STUFF" BACK
After everything that happened to me, by trusting in God, he helped me climb to the top.
Currently, I am married to Dr. Robert Copeland, pastor and co-founder of Living Word Church of God by Faith in Malone, Florida. I have recently retired from Auburn University. All of our children are adults and are successful. God has been faithful to me. I don’t look like what I’ve been through-- praise God!
Looking back, forgiveness can’t carry you where you are going, unforgiveness can only stop the blessing God has for you and doubt can only kill the spirit that God has given you.
Listed below are the characteristics of abuse http://www.ilrctbay.com/upload/custom/abuse/content/abusers.htm
Please confide and tell someone if you meet any of these criteria.
Mother Maxine Robinson Interview
by Mrs. Olivia Watkins and District Elder John Robinson, III, Florida East Coast District
Q: When Mother Robinson was asked to tell us about herself and her history in the COGBF we learned the following:
A: Mother Maxine Jacobs Robinson was born to Charlie and Ophelia Jacobs on August 6, 1937. She lived in Yulee and Jacksonville, FL, where she also attended school. Mother Robinson has been a member of the Church of God by Faith since her childhood. She grew up in the church, where her mother and father were already members. She was saved at the age of 13 under the leadership of Elder Zettie Lawrence in Yulee, FL. She married Elder Dr. John Robinson, Jr. in 1954. At the time, she had no idea she would become a pastor’s wife and definitely not the wife of a national church leader. They were blessed with 59 years of marriage until Elder Robinson went to sleep.
To this union, seven children were born. Elder Dr. Robinson and Mother Robinson’s first pastoral assignment with the Church of God by Faith Inc., was in 1957 in Hastings, FL. Her husband, (a dynamic young minister) began conducting revivals all over the state, and in 1959, they went to Fort Pierce, FL. After conducting such a successful revival and having such an impact on the church and community, this solidified the need for Bishop W.W. Matthews and the Supreme Council to appoint him as pastor of the church in Fort Pierce, FL. This began a long journey for them in a leadership capacity on the local, district, and national level.
Mother Robinson remained constantly supportive by her husband’s side in the ministry. In their early years at the Church of God by Faith in Ft. Pierce, FL, Elder Robinson was the musician, and she was one of the lead singers for the choir, with her beautiful soprano voice.
In the National church, Mother Robinson is the President of the Helping Hands Ministry, where each year she raises funds to assist the older mothers of the Church of God by Faith Inc. Being the true missionary that she is, Mother Robinson is blessed with the Ministry of Helps, and she enjoys cooking and caring for others. She is a member of the National Leading Ladies of the Church of God by Faith, Inc., the Superintendent’s Wives, and Pastor’s Wives. She continues to serve on the Florida East Coast District as District Leading Lady Emeritus. Mother Robinson serves on the District Women’s Council. She also serves as District Mother and advisor to the District Food Committee. At her local church in Fort Pierce, she serves as a leader for the women of the church as Chairperson of the Women of Excellence, Co-Chairperson of the Food Committee, Church Mother, teacher, and Missionary with the Ministry of Helps and on the Sick and Shut-in Committee.
Mother Robinson really exemplifies the true characteristics of a church mother and a leader’s wife. She is a role model for the young and aged women of how Christian women should carry themselves. As a mentor and counselor, many women have been blessed through her with their marriages, the rearing of their children, and as women serving in the church.
After 58 years, she is still striving to assist and be a blessing to others as well as the church as a whole and her community.
Q: What are some helpful hints you can share to help young minister’s wives?
- Minister’s wives should be examples in dress, conduct, attitude, and behavior
- If pastors [wives] are to counsel other members, don’t you be guilty; you are the role model for the other ladies in the church.
- Don’t say “my people” because they are not your people, but they are God’s people.
- Minister’s wives are to serve, not be served; but they are; however, to be honored and respected.
- If you honor and respect the members, they will respect you as well.
- When the Lord calls your husband, he calls you too.
- People don’t have to appreciate you. They do that from their heart.
- Stay focused on your job to serve the people, pray to God, and don’t share of all your personal business with the members.
- If your husband does share something with you, don’t share it with anyone else.
- Let the people see that you love your husband, so when he counsels others, they can see the love between the two of you.
- None of us are perfect. If you have problems in the home - and you will, don’t bring it to the church.
- Reach common ground.
- Live right before people.
- Give sound doctrine and sound advice.
- Don’t tell them what you wouldn’t take.
- Remember this scripture: Titus 2: 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Q: What are your thoughts on the most effective way older women and younger women can reach greater common ground?
A: Above all, older women share positive experiences and younger women should listen and try to follow good examples. The younger women [who are pastor wives] should focus on trying to be a good Christian first, then they will be a good pastor’s wife, a good minister’s wife, and overall, a good person.
Video: What it's Like to be a Widow With Mother Vivian Brown
Interviewed by Minister Dominique Brunson; NE NY District, April 21, 2015
On Sunday evening, April 19, 2015, I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing one of the leading ladies of the Churches of God by Faith, Mother Vivian Brown. We both reside in Newark, New Jersey, and attend the Church of God by Faith there, where Elder Wayne Brunson, Sr. is the pastor.
She is one of the beloved mothers of the church and many (including myself) affectionately call her “Nana”. Her home is so beautiful and I love to just go sit at her feet from time to time because she has so much Godly wisdom to impart. On this particular occasion, I asked her if she would mind sharing with me some aspects of her life as the widow of the late Elder Dr. Theodore “Doc” Brown, who also helped to shape the Church of God by Faith into what it is today. She wholeheartedly agreed.
Please watch what she had to say…
Written by Mother Viola Livingston, South Carolina District: June 2, 2015
To my dear sisters in Christ Jesus, and to all that will read these sayings,
I am very thankful to report victory in Christ Jesus.
Dear Hearts, what I am about to say is sincerely from the heart and of love for you. Chase Keepers at home to me is a touchy subject. The home is a place where love, kindness, sharing, and togetherness should be exercised. There was a time when husbands didn't want their wives to work outside the home. Seemingly, it made them feel less than a man. In this day and time, it is very much different. Having the wives at home is important and much needed. We can pray and fast for our family without distraction. We can also serve then without being over-tired. I am not saying that you do everything, because everyone should take a part in helping and serving.
God has given wives an insight or we may say intuition that husbands may not have. Apostle Paul told Titus that the aged woman be in behavior as becometh holiness, which means they are set part as holy women who are dedicated for exalted purposes. Not given to wine (no wine please), teachers of good things that they may teach the young women to be sober, which is self-control, to love their husband. In so doing, she will be in subjection to him.
There are times when husbands need to submit. I Peter 3:5 says that in old times the holy woman also, who trusted God, adore themselves, being in subjection. Always look good for yourself and for your husband.
Paul also said to Titus, for the aged woman to teach the young woman to love their children. Loving is taking some time with your children. Loving is taking time to pray with them. Pray, teach, play and do all you can with and for them.
Being Chase Keepers at home is very needful today. You can't do your very best if you are a part-time Chase Keeper. Darlings, I am not saying everything will be a flowerbed of ease being a Chase Keeper at home. It is much work!
In closing ladies, be discreet, be intelligent, and be careful about what you say or do. Being chase means to be pure and consecrated keepers at home, means being there for your family and yourself. Also, be diligent.
Interview: Caregiving - Lady Dineatha Jordan
Lady Dineatha Jordan (South Georgia District) Interviewed by Brittany Rudolph; SE Alabama/NW Florida District, Posted April 17, 2015
I had the honor of interviewing Elect Lady Dineatha Jordan. She is a member of the South Georgia District. She is the Elect Lady of Alma, Ga Church of God by Faith. Dineatha served as her mother’s caregiver until she passed on March 14, 2015. Dineatha shares her challenges with being the wife of a Pastor who just started a ministry, a mother, and a caregiver. Overall, it was her faith in God that kept her all together.
Rudolph: Tell us about yourself.
Jordan: My name is Dineatha Jordan. I am 31 years old. Born and raised in Pearson, Ga. I've been living in Douglas, Ga for the past 9 to 10 years. My mother is the late Ms. Teresa A. Williams. She passed away March 14, 2015, due to illness of lupus. My father is Kitchelle C. Gore of Homerville, Ga. All together I have 9 brothers and 3 sisters. I serve as a minister locally and nationally in the Churches of God by Faith. My husband is Pastor Tyrone Jordan, who pastor’s Alma, Ga Church of God by Faith. Our children are Javen and Tyshun Jordan.
Rudolph: Tell us about your mother.
Jordan: My mother was born February 15, 1964. She was born to the late Albert L. Williams Sr. and the late Mildred Solomon Williams which both parents precedes in death in 1974 due to a car accident. She had her only brother to precede in death in 2000. One sister precedes in death in 2012. Which leaves at this present time her oldest sister. All four was born into holiness, very gifted, with singing and playing instruments.
Rudolph: How did you become her caregiver?
Jordan: My mom was diagnosed with this illness when she was 31 and I was 13 at the time. And she would get down sick to where she couldn't get out of bed for weeks and by me being the oldest child, I had to learn to do for her and the things she would do around the house. As time passed and as I've gotten older I was able to take better care of her and provide for her better. She would get so sick and would have so many doctor visits till I had to take care of her to make sure she was well taken care of.
Rudolph: How did you stay strong and keep the faith during the hard times?
Jordan: I stayed strong because that's how my mom taught me to be, being raised by a single parent. As I grew up I learn to pray and trust in God to help me through the things I was going through. I would do things like write poems. Express myself in my poetry and write in my notebook to the Lord. Most importantly, I would always pray.
Rudolph: Did you have assistance with your mother?
Jordan: Yes, I had assistance with the home care nurses and my sister. After a few months of living in the home with me and my family, last year of October 2014, I moved my mom and my sister together just a few miles from my home. It made things much easier for my sister and I to take care of her with my husband and I having the responsibilities of pastoring a church full time and being a full time wife and mom.
Rudolph: How did this affect your family?
Jordan: Everyone was very understanding. I truly thank God for a wonderful husband who never complained about me having to leave him and my boys in the middle of the night or having to spend many nights away from home sleeping at the hospital or having to spend many nights at my mom house because she would be so sick. This whole situation taught us how to rely on God even the more.
Rudolph: What words of encouragement would you give women out there that have to balance family, church, and being a full time care giver?
Jordan: Always place God the head of your life. Never stop praying and trusting in God even when you don't understand or agree with what is going on. Just know God has control of everything and when it seems God has forgotten all about you and your situation just know that's when he is working it all out he just waiting on the appointed time.
Jordan: Through all of this, God still gave me the strength to be faithful to him, to my family and to the church. No matter what situations or obstacles occurred I always gave my best to everything.
Caregiver’s Words of Wisdom from Mrs. Barbara Seals
Mrs. Barbara Seals Interviewed by Personal Life Editor Brittany Rudolph; SE Alabama/NW Florida District, Posted April 17, 2015
Rudolph: Tell us about yourself.
Seals: Hello my name is Barbara Seals. I'm married to Kenneth Seals and we have two daughters. My oldest daughter is in the United States Army and my youngest daughter is a senior in high school. I was born in Dothan, Al. to Mr. and Mrs. Willie C. Poke and I was reared in Ashford, AL. I have two older brothers, a younger sister, and a younger brother. I graduated from Ashford High School and I received an Associate’s degree from Wallace Community College in the field of Applied Science. The past 20 years, I've worked at Dale Medical Center as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. I'm a lifelong member of Church of God by Faith.
Rudolph: Tell us about your mother
Seals: My mother, Annie J. Poke, and she comes from a large loving family. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Smith moved from Pike County to Houston County and affiliated themselves with Grant Chapel AME Church of Ashford, Al. My grandmother, Mother Rosie Lee Smith, was the one to lay the Christian foundation for the family. Momo, as we called her, was a praying, singing, and woman full of faith as well as a strong disciplinarian. I believe she was saved at the age of 13 and lived a holy life until she was called home. She taught her children about God, Jesus, and salvation, they would have frequent "fireside teaching" in which attendance was mandatory and she kept them involved in the church.
In the 1950's, the Church of God by Faith started having street meetings, services in private individual homes, and from there to tent meetings. My mother's sister, the late Rosie B. Smith Fields asked her mother if she could attend these meetings, she told her mother that she wanted to really know the Lord and her mother consented to this. Mother Fields was the first one of her siblings to get saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. She was the catalyst that influenced her brothers and sisters to seek and receive salvation.
There were four girls Mother Princess Smith Fortson, the late Mother Rosie Smith- Fields, Mother Annie Smith-Poke and Mother Susie Smith- Jackson, along with 9 boys, Elder's J.C, the late Willie C., Moses and Noah Smith, Deacon Leroy Smith and Bro. John Henry Smith. Two brothers died tragically and one brother died as a toddler.
They were being saved and they associated themselves with the Church of God by Faith. This was a prayer being answered for my grandmother because above all she wanted her children saved and living a holy life. She did all she could to encourage that and was very supportive of her children salvation and the Church of God by Faith.
My mother was saved during one of these meetings and joined the Church of God by Faith as well. Until her decline in health, she worked faithfully in the church doing all she could for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. When my mother was saved, there was no permanent meeting place for the Church of God by Faith in Ashford, she along with so many others worked tirelessly to help get the church established. Mother Poke worked faithfully in the church, serving many capacities such as usher, choir member, WWC president, missionary along with other assignments. Anything she could do to help the church. In 1995, due to the illness of my dad, my mother retired from the Sony Corporation and prior to that she had worked at Wex Tex, a local sewing factory in Ashford.
Rudolph: How did you become her caregiver?
Seals: I would say the foundation was laid when I was in the 6th grade. My mother had major surgery and had to be home for an extended period of time and my dad couldn't take off to care for her due to his job. So my older brothers and I were given the task of staying with my mom. We would each take a day staying out of school; my day was every third day, to be with my mom until she was able to stay alone. So it was just natural for me to take on this role. Whenever she was sick or after surgery, I would bring her into my home to stay until she recovered. I must admit this has been the longest assignment. What I thought would be a six week assignment has turned into an ongoing one. I can't really complain, my mindset has always been when I couldn't take care of myself my mother was there for me so it's only right for me to take care of her. My mother is a widow so it's what the Lord require of me as one of her children.
Rudolph: How do you stay strong and keep the faith during the hard times?
Seals: By standing on the word of God and from encouragement from family and friends. I've had plenty of examples to follow, my grandmother took care of my grandfather when he became ill and passed. My mother took care of my dad until his passing. Doing what those before me has done, seeing how God gave them the strength to do all that they needed to do as they worked and took care of the rest of the family.
Rudolph: Do you have assistance with your mother?
Seals: I do. Mother Mary Smith, Alabama District Elect Lady, comes on Tuesdays to help out and we have a sitter service on the weekends. Don Poke, my oldest brother, comes from Germany twice a year to help with my mom and my husband and children pitch in when they can. There are other family members that have been through the same thing that I'm going through and will come by for a visit, call to check on us and to encourage or send items that we need.
Rudolph: How does this affect your family?
Seals: It has been a strain. I've had to rearrange my work schedule to accommodate my mom's dialysis schedule (Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) so I work on Tuesdays and the weekends. I've missed important events within my family, like my daughter's graduation from basic training and AIT. I've missed special moment in my youngest daughter senior year. Children want their parents to be a part of their special accomplishment in life or just events that they are participating in. I've missed several of these but my children understand why.
Rudolph: What words of encouragement would you give women out there who must balance a career, family, church, and being a full time caregiver?
Seals: It can be done. Stand on the word of God. I'm always with you, I'll never leave nor forsake you, and I can do all things through Christ. Having a personal relationship with God makes a tremendous difference because he will deliver on his word. There are times when I get tired but there are times when I have this strength that can’t be explained by the natural. He will give you favor whether it on the job, in your community, in your home, even with strangers.
Seals: I'm most thankful that my grandmother cared enough about her family to teach them about God and the wonderful gift of salvation that he offers through Jesus Christ. The holy life that she lived before all of us who was privilege to know and love her. She was not a person that said do as I say and not as I do. Her word and lifestyle lined up with God and it was passed on from generation to generation.
Thank you for the opportunity to share.
Developing a Godly Marriage
Written by Phyllis R. McKnight: March 22, 2015
Marriage can indeed be a wonderful journey. This is not to say that every day is easy or perfect. I’m an old fashion girl with old fashion values and still believe good marriages are possible. Below are a few tips I have learned over the past 35 years:
1. Marriage must start out right. Both parties should have a true commitment to God and each other.
2. Maintaining a good marriage requires constant working on key elements. Mutual respect, commitment, effective communication, trust and a good dose of genuine friendship are a must. Then the love “stuff” comes automatically, easy and will last a lifetime. Through good times and bad times, in sickness and in health, during lean times and prosperous times, during trials and temptations, good marriages can stand the test of time.
3. Maintaining a good marriage requires time "alone" together. No family, friends, or children allowed. While rearing children, building careers, meeting the demands of family, friends and church, you must still make each other a priority.
4. Establish a regular date night for each other. This could be as simple as taking a drive alone, going for a smoothie, enjoying a night at the movies or an elegant night of dinning. Date night establishes that your partner is important enough to include in your regular schedule. Additionally, it keeps both partners in tune with each other despite life changes and challenges.
5. Never be afraid to say you were wrong or that you are sorry. Don’t let today’s sun go down on yesterday’s wrath.
6. Do No Harm. Do not embarrass each other publicly. Respect each other in words and deeds.
7. Seek out ways to have fun together. What did you enjoy doing together before you were married? What stress reducing activities appeal to you as a couple?
8. Put no other “human” above your mate. Leave and cleave to each other only.
9. Ask God to illuminate your faults and be willing to change. You don’t need to pray about your husband's faults because they are uncontrollable by you. You can really only change yourself and that in itself is really hard work. Only God or experiences can change hearts and behaviors. Seek him on the changes you need to make.
10. “Defraud ye not one another.” Do not remove your emotional, physical, spiritual, mental or sexual support from each other.
11. Present a united force to the children. Work through your differences regarding the children and present a united front.
12. Work consistently together to maintain order in your home, finances and heart. Home should be where the heart is physically and emotionally. Don’t buy more than you can afford.
13. Accept that maintaining a good marriage will always be hard work. Each day you wake up and breathe, you will have to show up ready to work at it. Marriage is a word only and it does not have the power to manage itself.
Finally, marriages are only as good as the efforts both partners invest in them.
Understanding the "Working" Proverbs: 31 Woman
Written by the COGBF Women's Ministry Staff: March 22, 2015
Many of today’s modern Christian women are deeply immersed in balancing various crucial roles including: church, wife and mother with demanding careers. They are born again believers in Christ and are fully committed to contributing to their churches.
They have a committed prayer-life and are involved with numerous ministry auxiliaries but also have professional careers. These energy demands can oft-time strain all of their responsibilities including those in the church. Consequently, it is essential that effective women’s ministries address the challenges of working women and develop comprehensive programs accordingly.
It is important to note that women who are full-time home-makers also have incredibly challenging lives without much fanfare or appreciation. In fact, it would be a luxury if every mother could take a few years from work to focus on her family but that either cannot or does not happen in many cases. Successful women’s ministries should also program to address these unique circumstances.
Some ministries dogmatically teach women to avoid professional careers but that is antithetical to the many examples in the Bible. Today’s Christian woman is often compared to the Proverbs 31 woman which reads in verses 10-12:
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
In this passage, the Bible speaks of her role as an amazing wife but that is not her complete story. When reading a little further in Proverbs 31: 16-18 we learn that this “perfect woman” was also involved in business and commerce:
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In addition to caring for her husband and children, this ultimate Proverbs 31 woman located real estate, negotiated the price and closed the sale. In Proverbs 31:16 it reads “Out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” Yes this Proverbs 31 woman “earned money” as was confirmed again in verse 18: “She sees that her trading is profitable.”
There were many other working women in the Bible including Lydia who was described on Biblegateway this way:
"Thyatira was conspicuous for its many guilds which were united by common pursuits and religious rites. One of these guilds was that of dyers. The water of the area was so well-adapted for dyeing, that no other place could produce the scarlet cloth out of which fezzes were so brilliantly and so permanently dyed. This unique purple dye brought the city universal renown. Lydia was a well-known seller of this product (Acts 16:14), and typifies a successful business woman in a prosperous city. Ability, enthusiasm, singleness of purpose and mental acumen were hers, and she prospered greatly in an honorable and extensive calling of “selling purple.” Lydia was an example of the comparatively independent position some women attained to in Asia Minor. That she became prosperous in business is seen in that she owned a spacious home, and had servants to care for her."
"For one thing, they made their living together. “For by trade they were tent-makers” (Acts 18:3). Every Jewish boy in New Testament times was taught some kind of trade. Since tents were such a prominent part of Hebrew life, Aquila’s parents chose to have their son learn this practical means of earning his livelihood. Their tents were made of rough goat’s hair fabric which took great skill to cut and sew properly. Aquila had acquired that skill and later taught it to his wife, and she happily assisted him in his business."
Finally, it is crucial that those involved in women’s ministries should address the diversity of all of its participants. Professional career women have circumstances that present unique challenges and women’s ministries should program to include their varied needs.
Mother Lillie Pearl Williams
Greetings, in the name of Jesus, our Lord and savior. It gives me great honor and joy to have this opportunity to help inspire each of you. I pray this will be beneficial in your growth and development of leadership.
I am the wife of Ruling Elder, Superintendent and Pastor James E. Williams of the Tampa Westcoast District. My day starts with devotional consecration and fellowship with God. One of my favorite scriptures is Phil 4:13, I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. I rely on His strength each day, that’s where my help comes from. I understand the power of prayer, for it is the utmost principle in my trust and belief in God.
Being a Leading Lady, you touch the lives of many women applying the concepts of Christ. I start in my home, local church and community. This establishes the foundation and support needed for the district and national church levels. I find an inner joy and strength, in reaching out to that soul, that don’t know the Lord as a Savior. I share my love throughout the church with encouraging words, to inspire and healed the hurting.
On this journey, many hats are worn; wear them well as unto the Lord. Keep your focus, testing of your faith will come to take your mind from the promises of God. Stand therefore, it’s only a test. Changes bring challenges, believe in yourself. I can and will do all things through Christ that strengthens me.
I have served as Chairman of Deacon wives, Minister’s wife, and presently as a Superintendent and Pastor Wife, Mother and Missionary. These have been stepping stones to my transitioning into being a Ruling Elder’s wife.
Please enjoy this poem:
A Lady of many Hats
A Lady of many hats
Wear them most earnestly
Always able to help others bear their load
Because the Lord strengthens me
Wearing the bonnet of a wife and mother
With submissiveness and pride
Walking in the spirit of Sarah and Ruth
With my Boaz by my side
With a steadfast and loving hand for each job
I must put wisdom on display
Whether beanie, sun, fedora cap or dress hat
I‘ll wear them in a Christian way
I’ll be Proverbs 31
My covering I shall not deny
My hats are not a fashion statement
Or matching accessory
They are the evidence
That as a Leading Lady…Christ is leading me