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Ministers’ wives highlight mentoring

ORLANDO (BP)–The 2010 SBC Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon will begin at noon Tuesday, June 15, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The program will focus on the theme “Mentoring Ministry Marriages.”

Based on Titus 2:3-5, in which the Apostle Paul advises the young leader to “encourage the young women to love their husbands … so that God’s message will not be slandered,” the luncheon organizers have placed a special emphasis this year on welcoming newcomers.

“We are praying that younger ministry wives will join us for the luncheon this year,” Rhonda Kelley, president of the event, told Baptist Press. “We are intentionally trying to draw in younger wives who are newer in the ministry.”

The luncheon, in the Valencia Room on the convention center’s 4th floor, will feature Jackie Kendall of Power to Grow Ministries.

“Jackie Kendall is a dynamic speaker and writer who has a passion for ministry wives. One of her recent books is ‘The Mentoring Mom,’ and she and her husband live in Florida. In my opinion, no one can inspire and excite Christian women in a short period of time like Jackie Kendall,” Kelley, whose husband Chuck Kelley is president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, said, pointing also to Kendall’s website, jackiekendall.com.

“Our special music will be by Tiffany Coburn, a fabulous vocalist, wife and mother, member of First Baptist Church in Orlando, and singer with Walt Disney’s Voices of Liberty,” Kelley said.

The theme was selected, Kelley said, because the Bible clearly challenges women to mentor other women.

“This biblical mandate also applies to ministry wives. Ministers and their wives need encouragement and support as they attempt to strengthen their marriages and families as well as their service to the Lord,” Kelley said. “Older ministry wives can mentor younger ministry wives so they won’t miss the blessings of ministry.”

Kelley serves as professor of women’s ministry and director of women’s ministry programs at New Orleans Seminary.

“In my work at the seminary, it is my joy to mentor the ministry wives of the future,” she said. “They need mentoring personally and their marriages need mentoring as well.

“I am so very grateful for the mentoring I have received and the many examples of godly ministry marriages that have inspired my husband and me,” Kelley said. “I want to be faithful to mentor younger ministry wives and help them build their marriages.”

All ministers’ wives are encouraged to attend the annual luncheon for a time of fellowship, inspiration and encouragement, Kelley said.

“It is a highlight for most ministry wives during the SBC meeting,” she said. “One of the first e-mails I received in January was from a pastor’s wife in a small town in Alabama asking how to buy a ticket. She said, ‘I buy my ticket for the Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon before we make our hotel reservations because I look forward to it all year.’ It’s a very sweet time of fellowship for the ladies.”

To purchase tickets at $10 each, visit www.lifeway.com and click on Events and then Women to find the link listed on the left side of the page, or call 1-800-254-2022. For more information, contact Kelley at [email protected].

The SBC Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon dates back to 1955, when two Georgia pastors’ wives realized the importance of their state’s ministers’ wives’ conference and decided that the national convention would benefit from such an organization. They made plans for a tea at the Muhlback Hotel in Kansas City during the 1956 convention and were overwhelmed by the response.

Always held on Tuesday during the SBC annual meeting, the luncheon is open to all wives of ministers — pastors, staff members, chaplains, missionaries and denominational workers.
Erin Roach is a Baptist Press staff writer.

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