2016 Women’s Conference

BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – WINGS Fellowship Church played host to the 2016 women’s conference, Roar—Women in Worship, organized by LaDonna Butler of True Light Missionary Baptist Church Sat., March 26. This year’s theme: Our journey to place, power and purpose was anchored on the scripture Hosea 11:10.

The morning consisted of homilies, personal testimonies, praise dancing, music and fellowship.

“We are here today so that we can worship our God, and if you don’t know Him that you experience Him, for real,” Butler said.

Last year Tycia Walker attended the conference and felt God placed her in that seat last year for a higher purpose.

“God lined it up for me to sit where I sat last year to give me all the encouragement and motivation I need to do what I needed to do this year,” she said admitting that she was a little nervous to give her testimony.

Walker, who will be graduating from Bible College this year, put her fears aside and told the church how she has learned to rely on God when speaking to those seeking help.

Sister Desiree Sherman, who was a speaker at last year’s conference, spoke of finding ones place in the church, and His kingdom building effort.

“In finding our place in the kingdom of God, the first thing we must do is to consult God. It’s his agenda; it’s his plan and his kingdom. God will decide what our place should be,” said Sherman.

Here she broke down Hosea 11:10: “They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.”

“The Lord took me to the word ‘roar,’ she said. “When God roars it changes your place. Wherever you are at the moment you will be in a different place.”

She said “roar” is used to proclaim territory. It calls those who are astray back to the pride.

“Ask yourself, are you apart of the pride? If you are a son or a daughter, you will move toward the roar, but if you are not then that roar will cause you to flee,” Sherman said.

She indicated that trembling is a state of vulnerability, and that one must be alert in spirit and listen for the roar.

“When God roars and moves you to a new location,” she said “you need to come as a dove. You need to open up your heart and come to God in submission and obedience and worship to the father.”

The topic of power was next spoken about. “Knowledge is power,” said Sister Shawna Chance, who admonished that in order for us to grasp the power of God, we have to first come into the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

“There are people out here dying, there are people out here lost and who have not come into the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We are living in the last days,” she said, stating that this is an urgent call to save the lost while there’s still time.

Chance said the only way to give power to someone is to bring them into the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and as we become believers we must recognize that we have no power outside of Jesus.

“We got to say connected in order to have power,” she said.

Sister Constance Shaw knows about staying connected to the power source. At one point she lost her job, car and home. “But everything that I named was physical. My power source was Jesus.”

Shaw said the reason we feel powerless is because we’ve removed our connection to the power source. She preached that the power and authority of Jesus has been given to us and the significance of living in that power and authority can and will allow us to overcome all odds.

Rev. Ayakao Watkins based her sermon on Act 1:8, which proclaims that power will be given to those who receive the Holy Spirit.

“So many folks in the church trying to walk in power and ain’t got no Holy Spirit,” she said. “You cannot have an intimate relationship with God without an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. If you decided you want power for that day, you better ask the Holy Spirit to come alongside you and help you.”

“There is purpose in pain,” said Sister Brandy Walker, whose testimony on purpose started off as a test of faith. She was raped and molested by family member from ages 9-16. When she was able to go to college, she chose counseling as her major.

“I wanted to know why my mama at the time was so crazy; why is my family was so messed up,” she said.

School taught her a lot about mental illness, but she was still missing something in her life. At the age of 29 she asked for God’s help and He cleansed the hurt and hatred she had towards family members.

“I had to tap into that power source, I had to pray; I had to fast; I had to believe,” Walker said.

She understood that there was a place for her in this world, but not before “I lost my mind.” She went through seven Baker Acts, couldn’t remember who she was, had to send her kids to their father, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and then schizoaffective disorder.

Through it all, she held on to Philippian 4:13 which states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“God, you are my all,” she said.

Minister Samantha Wilson informed the crowd that she couldn’t tell them what their purpose is, but she had two tips that could help: price and praise.

She gave an example about how she goes to the clearance rack first when at a department store, but sometimes, she said, you have to pay for what you want.

“Those big ticket items, they are going to cost you…your purpose will cost you everything.”

She turned to Luke 14:33 where Jesus said: “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

Wilson said because tip number one didn’t kill you, you should be doing tip number two—praising God.

“Nobody should have to help you praise God. You should look back on your own life and your own mess and say, “God is good.”

Butler invited everyone to gather around the altar and partake in prayer and praise with Watkins and Sherman. She thanked everyone for attending and sharing their testimonies.

“I’m just renewed,” she exclaimed.

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