Mother’s Day weekend brings Christian women together for inspiration

Mother’s Day weekend brings Christian women together for inspiration
May 14
00:00 2015
(Above: Photos by Felecia Piggott-Long, Ph. D-  Missionaries Carolyn Jones and Hazel Watson present a Mother’s Day award to First Lady Sarah Mendez on Mother’s Day. The Missionary Department of Emmanuel Baptist Church invited the public to celebrate Mother’s Day together on that weekend.)

By Felecia Piggott-Long, Ph. D., For The Chronicle

More than 100 missionaries, Sunday school teachers, mothers, daughters, sisters, saints, and friends came together for fun and  fellowship for the Mother’s Day weekend. The Missionary Department of Emmanuel Baptist Church invited the public to celebrate Mother’s Day together on May 9 and 10.

The theme for the occasion was “An Awesome You.”

The main events included a Mother’s Day tea/luncheon, spring fashion show, and a special worship service. Kathy Marshall, president of the Missionary Department at Emmanuel, was excited when Karen Harris, a Sunday School teacher, brought the project to the missionaries as an opportunity to network with women around the city.

The models in the fashion show paraded their garments to the tune of “When Jesus Says Yes, Nobody Can Say No.” The spring fashions came from the local Talbot’s store. The manager, Karen Bohner, and her associate, Dayna Hood, narrated as the women modeled pastel-colored dresses, nautical skirt sets, short sets and pant suits as business attire. Red and black, coral and crème, grey and red were some of the color combinations that received loud applause.

Sarah Alston assisted with the fashion show and the door prizes. Some of the door prizes came from Talbot’s. Models included Earnestine Griffin, Courtney Matthews, Amber Peppers, Minister Jan Brown, Dayna Hood, Harretta Duncan,  Suzette Willis and Swynetta Stone, fashion coordinator.

The group received a visit from Miss Manners in the person of Missionary Carolyn Jones. She reminded the women to give a grateful wave to drivers who help them merge into traffic jams. She also reminded all able-bodied women to take the back parking spaces in order to allow visitors and guests to get some of the better parking spaces. Also she taught that African etiquette encourages respect for the elders.  In addition, she offered several dining do’s and don’ts. She encouraged the women to be mindful  to butter their bread on a plate, not in midair. She encouraged them to never put their purses on the table because of the germs pocketbooks pick up throughout the day.

The audience laughed profusely as some of the women told humorous stories and anecdotes about their mothers. Many of the women were pleased to see their faces on a DVD presentation of photographs of Emmanuel Women.  Dot Hill spent weeks gathering photos and Karen Harris shared the presentation.

“I just wanted to see smiles on my sisters faces. Women and mothers put in so much time helping their families and others, it is gratifying to see them laugh and have fun,” said Harris.

“I had a ball on Saturday and Sunday. As women, we have a story to tell. I enjoyed listening to the women talk about their mothers,” said Marshall. “As black women, we can be some powerhouses connecting with the next generation. We do work hard doing service, but there is nothing wrong with coming together to celebrate ourselves.”

“We as women are significant in this world. We also hold an important place in history. In the Words of James Brown, ‘This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl,” said Joyce Vaughn before reciting the scripture from Proverbs 31:26-31.

While many of the missionaries at the gathering came from Emmanuel, they also came from other churches, such as Green Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in New Bern, Stedfast Life Changing Ministries, Union Baptist Church, and St. Peter’s World Outreach Church.

Missionary Hazel Watson welcomed all of the women to the gathering.

“God created women to be awesome mothers, wives, and helpmates to one another. Some of us have chosen to be fruitful and to multiply, but all women are to help raise the children. They are our children,” Watson said. “We are to lead them, guide them in a Godly way in the church and in the community.”

On Sunday, during the worship service Chris Murrell, soloist of the Count Basie Orchestra, dedicated the song “Morning Star” to the women of Emmanuel on behalf of the pastor, Rev. Dr. John Mendez. The Liturgical Dancers performed to the song, “You’re Amazing,” and the Youth Choir and the Spiritual Choir offered special music.

Portia Hinnant Brandon, keynote speaker for the morning, spoke on the topic “The Awesome Role of Mothers.”

“Do you know who you are? The blood of queens runs through your veins. Tenacity is the first word ever spoken by your gender. You are Awesome! You are women of African Descent. Divine equals of man. Do you know who you are?  God knew you before your parents knew you,” Brandon said. “You are prophet, teacher, judge, sage, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, a holy nation. You have the power to define yourself! You have the power to start over until you get it right. You have the power to resist institutionalized racism and sexism, the power to challenge the unequal distribution of resources. You have the power.”

She reminded the women to teach the children how to respond to police encounters. Also she encouraged them to review cursive writing and the multiplication tables with their children, as these items have been downplayed in the current curriculum.

Members of the Mother’s Day Committee included Carolyn Allison, Carolyn Jones, Harretta Duncan, Marcella Jordan, Lillian Smith, Hazel Watson, Marion Wilson, Dot Hill, and Sarah Alston.

The Missionary Circle was organized in 1932 by the late Nannie Gilmore Saunders, who recognized the need for organized mission work in the church. She was the first president.  Emmanuel Baptist Church has been known for its devoted mission work down through the years. The past presidents of today include Mary Jenkins, Juanita Williams, Mildred Peppers, Gloria Milner, and the current president Kathy Marshall.

Emmanuel gained recognition as an A-1 Missionary Circle through the Woman’s Baptist State Convention, the affiliation with the Rowan auxiliary District 4 Group 1, and the Lott Cary. Emmanuel is affiliated with American Baptist Church, USA, All African Conference of Churches, National Baptist Convention, Progressive National Convention, and The World Council of Churches.

About Author

Todd Luck

Todd Luck

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors