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Ministers’ wives to gather as ‘Jewels in the Desert’

PHOENIX (BP)–“Jewels in the Desert” will be the theme of this year’s Ministers’ Wives Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention June 17 in Phoenix.

Based on Proverbs 31:10, “… a virtuous wife … her worth is far above rubies,” the theme plays off the desert environment of Arizona and reflects ministers’ wives’ roles as the jewels in the crowns of their husbands, said 2003 conference president Janet Hunt, wife of Johnny Hunt, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga.

“We had to choose the theme a while ago, and after [Operation Iraqi Freedom] started, I thought we should have a patriotic theme,” Hunt said. “Then it dawned on me that our original theme still fits because our servicemen are the jewels of our nation serving in the Middle East desert.”

So the women will both celebrate their role as jewels and pay special attention to the troops serving in the war.

The 11:30 a.m. ministers’ wives luncheon Tuesday, June 17, will be held in the Phoenix Civic Plaza Ballroom in Phoenix, the host city of the June 17-18 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.

Advance tickets, at $10 each, may be ordered by sending a check payable to the SBC Ministers’ Wives Conference and a self-addressed stamped envelope to Tammy Litton, 1627 Silver Creek Drive, Saraland, AL 36571. Advance ticked orders must be postmarked by May 15.

Tickets purchased at the SBC annual meeting will be $12 each.

Humorist Liz Curtis Higgs, author of “Bad Girls of the Bible” and “One Size Fits All and Other Fables,” will be the luncheon’s guest speaker.

“I wanted Liz Curtis Higgs to come because I feel like the unsung heroes in our convention are the ministers’ wives, and I want to make them feel special,” Hunt said. “I have always loved the luncheon and felt special there. I feel like part of feeling special is to be encouraged, especially in times of war. All the encouragement we can get is what we need.”

Last year, a capacity crowd heard a message from Janet Parshall, host of the nationally syndicated talk show “Janet Parshall’s America” in Washington, D.C., and “Renewing the Heart” program produced by Focus on the Family.

Also at this year’s luncheon, the 2003 Mrs. J.M. Dawson Distinguished Service Award for “distinct denominational contribution beyond the local church” will be awarded. Last year’s award was given to Jeanette Henry, wife of Jim Henry, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Orlando, Fla.

The officers for the 2003 Ministers’ Wives Conference are president, Hunt; vice president, Pam Agee, wife of Bill Agee, director of missions from Glendale, Ariz.,; recording secretary/treasurer, Tammy Litton, wife of Ed Litton, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in North Mobile, Ala.; and corresponding secretary, Janice Thomas, wife of Claude Thomas, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas.

The luncheon, always held on Tuesday during the SBC annual meeting, is open to all wives of ministers — pastors, staff members, chaplains, missionaries and denominational workers.

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  • Erin Curry