• 81°

Third annual conference to focus on relationships

BEN HILLYER/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Organizers of this year’s Women of Worship Conference, front row, Beatrice Owens, Dianne Jordan, Dorothy Sylvester, Nancy Bowman; back row, Cheryl Sanford-Givens, Carolyn Ridley and Susan Smith, welcome area women to two days of prayer, praise and enlightenment during this weekend’s events. This year’s conference with be at the Natchez First Baptist Church on D’Evereux Drive.

BEN HILLYER/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Organizers of this year’s Women of Worship Conference, front row, Beatrice Owens, Dianne Jordan, Dorothy Sylvester, Nancy Bowman; back row, Cheryl Sanford-Givens, Carolyn Ridley and Susan Smith, welcome area women to two days of prayer, praise and enlightenment during this weekend’s events. This year’s conference with be at the Natchez First Baptist Church on D’Evereux Drive.

A local Christian conference will offer sisterhood and support aimed at helping women grow in their relationships with Christ.

The third annual Women of Worship Conference is back to inspire area women, prompting this year’s theme, Sisterhood — strength in unity.

“Our core focus is to encourage (women) in the word of God, to study to word of God and also to point them to a small group Bible study,” Women of Worship committee member Carolyn Ridley said.

“I think this year is more focused on developing relationships with one another in the body of Christ and understanding the strength that comes from coming alongside one another.”

Ridley said that although forming relationships takes time, energy and effort, it becomes worth it when it’s in the body of Christ.

The conference’s keynote speakers this year will be Babbie Mason and Mary Whelchel.

Mason is a nationally known singer-songwriter who also teaches and hosts a talk show, “Babbie’s House.”

Whelchel is the speaker and president of The Christian Working Woman radio ministry and director of Women’s Ministry at The Moody Church in Chicago.

“Both are going to bring more light on sisterhood, developing relationships, women’s ministry and share whatever they decide to help us develop our theme,” Ridley said.

The conference’s praise and worship leader will be Gwenette Broome, the wife of the Rev. Doug Broome of First Baptist Church — with Roderick Lewis as the pianist.

The conference will also feature local praise teams this year, which will include different women from area churches.

“The praise is always a diverse group,” Ridley said. “It’s going to be contemporary, there will be hymns and maybe a little taste of gospel. It will just be a blend of music to reach everybody.”

The conference is moving from Parkway Baptist to First Baptist Church this year.

“We are trying to reach women from different walks of life and not limit to any particular area,” Ridley said. “(The Women of Worship committee) is from different walks of life, we’re from different churches — we don’t want it to be limited to any one group of people.”

The conference is Friday and Saturday. A luncheon with Whelchel will take place at noon Friday at First Baptist Church’s family life center.

Doors open for registration at 6 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church with the session beginning at 7 p.m. Whelchel will be the Friday speaker.

Doors open at 8 a.m. Saturday for registration with the session from 9 a.m. to noon. Mason will be the Saturday speaker.

Conference tickets are $30. Luncheon tickets are $20. A ticket that includes the conference and the luncheon are $50.

Women of Worship committee member Cheryl Givens said she thought the conference was the perfect opportunity to build new relationships.

“It’s just an opportunity for women who you would not normally see in a different area to gather together,” Givens said.

Registration for the conference is available online at natchezwomenofworship.com.

For more information, contact 601-442-1464 or email wownatchez@gmail.com.