Fun, friendship & fashion

Ruth Smith



ST. PETERSBURG – This year marks the fifth Hat-ti-tude Extravaganza put on by the Rock of Jesus Missionary Baptist Church. Held at the Staybridge Suites last Saturday in downtown St. Pete, splendiferous hats were the order of the day.

Serving as Mistress of Ceremony, Evangelist Dorothy Oxendine was delighted to see a sea of beautiful hats in the audience.

“We already have a fashion show right here. Are the models all sitting in the audience,” she asked?

Minister Jacob McCullough from the Rock of Jesus gave the invocation. A member of the congregations for some seven months, he felt like a fish out of water.

“Pastor, why didn’t you let me know? I would have bought me a brim,” directing his comment to Rev. Frank Peterman, who was sporting a fedora.

The Hat-ti-tude Extravaganza came about five years ago when a member of the church donated 40 to 50 fabulous hats. Rev. Peterman immediately contacted Sister Ruth Smith, chairperson for the Pastor’s Aid Committee.

“I was looking for something exciting and something extraordinary to do and that’s how the Hat-ti-tude was born,” remarked Smith, who said it grows by leaps and bounds every year.

And by taking a look in the crowd, churches from all over the city were represented including New Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church, New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, United Freewill Baptist Church, St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church and 20th Street Church of Christ.

The Hat-ti-tude event is not just an avenue for ladies to strut their stuff and show off their hats, it is a fundraiser to aid the pastor with whatever need may arise, such as clergy wear and the yearly conference held out of state.

After lunch was served, the fashion show got underway. Linda Brewton of Grand Mond House of Fashions narrated this portion of the afternoon, comparing each model to an upstanding woman in the bible.

“When you see us walk into church with hats, we’re not telling you that we are better than you, we are just thanking God because he told us to adorn our heads, to cover it,” she said as the models glided by with sophistication and style.

This was Brewton’s third year featuring her hats at the extravaganza and more than 20 years in the fashion industry. You can check her out on Facebook at Grand Mond House of Fashion or call (727) 461-3784.

This year’s event went off without a hitch, but that’s just because Smith and her crew work so hard every year to make them a success.

“Time this is over we start planning for next year,” she said.

Rev. Peterman ending the afternoon by saying:  “Keep God first and his son Jesus Christ. Live by the Word of God; love God and follow his Word and the Holy Spirit.”

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