On Saturday, May 20, Mau
mee, Oh, at 10:00 AM, more specifically Searchlite Community Church on E. Broadway St., was laden with ladies from all points north, south, east, and west. While they were in attendance to the third Annual Women In Purple Service, they were also there to-exchange the fellowship that heralds this service when they are in each other's presence.
Pastor Lee Williams, has dedicated his life to serving this community and as he matriculated into the role as Pastor, he still has not limited his work for the people on behalf of the people. He has simply expanded his attributes to include "Shepherding". And as he continues to serve people, he places value on what the role of Women in Ministry is to the Body of Christ. This is one of the reasons as to why the Women In Purple Service is paramount to the ministry at Searchlite.
On this Saturday, they chose as the theme: " Healing Hearts and Mending Souls", taken from Acts 16:14-15, 40 verses. Women in attendance were asked to wear PURPLE, which is symbolic of the scripture and the woman of God known as LYDIA. In fact the scripture points to Lydia from Thyatira, one of the women who had gathered for prayer in Phillips, and a merchant of expensive purple cloth who worshipped God. The Bible states that as she was in the presence of Paul listening to what he had to say, she accepted his words.
Pastor Williams and the Women of Searchlite chose to honor women from the community who have made significant contributions to worthwhile endeavors. Some of which range from clergy, educators, lawyers, doctors, directors, executives, and many other professions. They selected as the Keynote Speaker for this year's service Rev. Barbie Hairston, former Executive Director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters program in Northwest Ohio, and Associate Minister at Third Baptist Church. Other Speakers for this occasion were Debra Gordon, CEO of Gordon Strategies, Hudson, Oh., Dr. Celia Williamson, Director of Human Trafficking and Justice Institute at University of Toledo, Vicki Rankin Anderson, CEO, Hadassah Ministries.
As the highlight of the day was to honor women, three local distinctive women were paid homage to for their dedicated work and given the 2017 Women In Purple Lydia Award. They were Billie Johnson, Director of the Area Office on Aging, Rev. Shirley Sparks, Pastor of Walls Memorial AME Church, and Rev. Julie Belnetblschess, Interim Pastor at Trinity Episcopal Church (downtown).
As the day ended in great fellowship with these women, all were excited and stated that they look forward to the 4th annual service next year. Hats off to Pastor Lee Williams and the Searchlite Community Church for a service of excellence. May God continue to bless you as you continue to serve!