Conference to focus on body and bride of Christ

Published 12:04 am Sunday, January 10, 2016

Illustration by Ben Hillyer — First Baptist Church will host its annual Women of Worship conference this month. Alicia Williamson Garcia will be the featured speaker.

Illustration by Ben Hillyer — First Baptist Church will host its annual Women of Worship conference this month. Alicia Williamson Garcia will be the featured speaker.

A traditional bride usually prepares for her wedding by putting on a veil and a glamorous white dress. But, later this month, the Women of Worship are inviting area women to get ready to be a different kind of bride.

On Jan. 22 and 23, the group is hosting its fourth annual conference at First Baptist Church. The theme this year is “Getting Dressed and Ready from the Inside Out.”

The conference is focused on being the body and bride of Christ. So much of society, committee member Carolyn Ridley said, focuses on outside adornment, while this is focusing on the heart.

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“And that tends to flow out into how we present ourselves outwardly,” Ridley said.

The conference’s January dates, a month where people are thinking about New Year resolutions, isn’t a coincidence.

“People tend to have their hearts turned toward New Year’s resolutions, new goals, doing things better than they did the year before,” Ridley said.

The conference, Ridley said, is a way to spiritually prepare for better living.

And it isn’t just an excuse to get out of the house, featured speaker Alicia Williamson Garcia said.

“It’s just a full conference for women of faith, women of worship, women who want to be strong spiritually,” Garcia said.

Garcia is a Bible teacher, a national worship leader and an award-winning artist. It’s not her first time at the conference, but it’s the first time she, or any speaker, will be there for the entire weekend.

Instead of speaking for a single day, Garcia said she will bring three messages on Friday and Saturday.

“I’ll bring solid teaching from the scriptures,” Garcia said. “I’ll also bring great stories from my own life that ladies can relate to.”

In addition to Garcia’s messages, the conference will also feature an opening night skit and worship.

“The conference is a feast for the eyes, the heart and the ears,” Garcia said.

This year’s worship leader is FBC’s director of music ministries, Derrick Burt. Ridley said Burt is also known for singing at Angels on the Bluff and at various area high school sports games.

“He’s just kind of left his mark on Natchez,” Ridley said.

Women will also have a chance to continue learning about God after the conference is over at a Bible study fair on Saturday.

Different people from different Bible studies, both beginning and current, will set up booths. Women can browse the different studies and chose one that interests them.

“It will be a weekend that’s filled with Biblical truth,” Ridley said. “We enjoy each other, and we have fun, but the main goal is that you’ll leave there with nourishment from the word of God.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. Friday and the first session starts at 7 p.m. On Saturday, doors open at 8 a.m. with the session beginning at 9 a.m.

The price is discounted from approximately $25 to $3 per session in honor of the tricentennial. Tickets can only be bought at the door.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Women of Worship —Natchez, can visit Regions Bank and ask for their account. For further information about the conference or Women of Worship, call 601-304-1383.