Women’s Ministry’s annual tea

BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – The Women’s Ministry at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church held their annual tea and fashion extravaganza Saturday, April 23. The Upper Room was transformed into a proper English tea room with tables beautifully adorned with spring colors, delicious eats and Godly women dressed in their Sunday best.

Head of the Women’s Ministry Cynthia Pierce has had the task of putting together the extravaganza for about 13 years. Starting out as a mother/daughter tea, it grew to include everyone.

The tea serves as a fundraiser for the ministry. With monies raised, the Women’s Ministry can continue to contribute to the West Coast Association, who organizes outreach ministries for Jamaica and Haiti.

“We donate things like shoes and underwear for the children. Whatever the need is,” Pierce said.

The tea also funds the ministry’s nursing home project where they deliver undergarments and toiletries to the residents, their Father’s Day recognition program and helps members that are in need throughout the year.

The afternoon was filled with food, fashion and the Word of God. This year’s theme was “Godly Women Making an Impact,” and while Mistress of Ceremony Valerie Williams asked the ladies who was the first Godly woman in their lives that impacted them, a resounding, “My mother” could be heard throughout the room.

“Isn’t it a wonderful thing when you can call your very own mother a Godly woman? I thank my mother for nothing else but bringing me the Christ,” she said. “When she gave me that, she gave me everything.”

The First Lady of Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ, Missionary Rhonda Anderson, said a Godly woman displays by her lifestyle that she trust, honor, revere and yield herself in obedience to God.

In order to make an impact, she said, one must be actively involved and committed to whatever assignment God impresses upon them.

“So a Godly woman making an impact should not be overpowering, pushy, self-exalting, demeaning or degrading towards anyone,” she said. Rather, they need to present themselves as a minister, a mentor and a role model for the people.

After everyone filled up on spiritual food, the parade of hats commenced. The ladies strutted down a makeshift runway with their heads held high. Hats at the Kentucky Derby had nothing on these ladies.

Williams asked the models to say one word that represents what their hat means. Mother Crawford said her hat meant “angel;” Deaconess Davenport said her hat meant “beauty.” Hat after hat, each lady had an uplifting word about what their hats meant to them.

This yearly tea is so successful that ladies from churches all over the city come to fellowship with the women of Friendship. Sisters from Bethel Metropolitan, Greater Mt. Zion AME and other churches enjoyed the afternoon fun.

“The women of Friendship are awesome women,” said Pierce, as she thanked everyone for helping her to coordinate the tea. “They really come together. Anytime I asked them to do something, they rise to the occasion.”

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