Nearly 200 women crowded the halls of First Baptist Church last weekend to share recipes, spend time with old friends, make new ones and learn new skills.
The first Recipe for Life women’s conference, hosted by FBC’s women’s ministry team, was a success for everyone involved, said Beverly Raburn, a member of the team.
“I had several ladies come up and let me know their experience had been a blessing to them,” she said. “They said they were at points in their life where they needed the message that was shared. I also had a lot of ladies that said they enjoyed getting to meet some new people.”
About 75 members of First Baptist volunteered to help at the event, greeting attendees at the door, cooking lunch, leading a breakout session and much more, Raburn said.
The conference began Friday night with a worship service and a food-tasting fellowship. Many women offered desserts they baked, from bon bons to pound cake to truffles, and provided their recipes for others to try at home.
Saturday began and ended with a worship service, with a day full of breakout sessions on topics ranging from the practical, such as basic auto maintenance, to the spiritual, such as a discussion on mission work.
“Everybody that had planned a breakout session was giving 150 percent in their sessions,” Raburn said. “They were all excited and enthusiastic and very knowledgeable in what they were offering.”
Debra McLarnon and Ann Lewis led Baskets of Blessings, a session in which women made baskets that will be donated to female victims of domestic violence in SafeHomes shelters. At the end of the day, women who attended the session had assembled about 25 baskets full of toiletries, makeup and devotional books.
“I’ve got chill bumps. Just think about the woman who gets that basket,” McLarnon said, admiring a newly assembled basket with a leopard-print bow atop it.
“Every one of those baskets is going to a woman in need,” Lewis said. “They will be such a blessing to the women in the shelter.”
Carol Ward and Louise McCommons sat together as they painted multi-colored crosses in a session called Art with a Heart.
“I’d love to go to so many of the sessions, but you can’t go to all of them,” McCommons said.
She and Ward agreed the weekend had been a good experience, particularly the fellowship with other women in the community.
Raburn guessed that more than half the women there were not members of First Baptist but came from the surrounding churches and communities. She said the members of the women’s ministry team were pleased to see so many groups from other churches in attendance.
Debbie Wright came from Glascock County to attend the conference. She and her daughter, Chrishelle Ebner, jumped at the chance to have a mother/daughter weekend.
“It brings the community together, and the ladies can really learn from each other,” Wright said. “It was just an open door to God’s house.”
As the FBC women’s ministry team reviews the event and wraps everything up, they will discuss whether to plan another conference.
“Everything I’ve heard has been very positive,” Raburn said. “I heard a lot of people saying ‘next time,’ so that’s always a good sign. The conversation was toward ‘let’s do this again.’ ”