RSSArchive for July, 2011

Past Annual Meetings

This is a collection of notes about prior Annual Meetings.

2011 Annual Meeting speakers were Judi Hodges (missions) and Val Shepard (keynote), wife of Walt Shepard of church plant Christ Coastal ARP in Southport. The meeting began at 10am and ended around 2pm with a Treasurer’s workshop and Showcase. Outgoing Past President performed the installation of officers. It included 2 hymns and special music during the offering. Business included moving Annual Meeting to 3rd Saturday of October.

2010 Annual Meeting speakers were Karen Kimmons (missions), Shelia Osborne (missions), and Susan Hunt (keynote). The meeting began at 10am and ended shortly after 2pm with workshops for Treasurer, Susan Hunt, and study book overview, and the Showcase. Elizabeth Burns performed installation of officers. It included 2 hymns and special music during the offering. Business included adjusting Presbyterial year to match the calendar year beginning January, 2013.

2009 Annual Meeting speakers were Lynn Limon (missions) and Elizabeth Burns (keynote). The meeting began at 10am and ended with workshops for Treasurer and study books, and the Showcase. Special music by Hillside Praise Band at beginning of the meeting, plus 3 hymns. Kathy Barron performed installation of officers. No special business to be voted on.

2008 Annual Meeting speakers were Youth from Wales Mission Trip (missions) and Tracie Miles (keynote) of Proverbs 31 Ministries. The meeting began at 10am and ended with a Showcase. Elizabeth Burns performed installation of the officers. It included 1 hymn and special music during the offering. No special business to be voted on.

2007 Annual Meeting speakers were Laura Romer (missions, via DVD) and Rachel Turner (keynote). Ann Aheron performed installation of officers. Special music at the beginning by the Overcash Family and before the keynote speaker by the Dawson Family, and 3 humans and special music during offertory. The meeting began at 10am, with workshops at 11:30 am for each office plus topics such as How to handle stress, Girls stuff, Christianity in Turkey, and Blending Church and Family. No special business to vote on.

2006 Annual Meeting speakers were Ruth Bonilla (missions devotion), Dr. Peggy Gray (ARP WM), and Rev Joseph Alghrary (keynote). Special music was provided by the Korean Choir, with 3 hymns. Peggy Gray performed installation of the officers. The meeting began at 10am with workshops at 11:30 for the officers and special topics of The Face of Islam Today, Life Management for Busy Women, Reaching Youth Today, and Family Worship. No special business to vote on.

2005 Annual Meeting speakers were Patsy Ratchford (missions), Jeff Hathcock (testimony), andPatsy Ratchford (keynote). Special music by EMD, and 3 hymns. The meeting began at 10am with workshops at 11:45. Patsy Ratchford performed installation of the officers.

2004 Annual Meeting speakers were Greg and Chris Conover (missions) and Cyndi Jo Brady (keynote) of Solomon House. Mae Ferguson performed installation of officers. Special music by Cindy McNeel and 3 hymns. The meeting began at 10am with workshops at 11:45. Business was the vote on WSU rename and restructure to Women’s Ministries.

Looking for a speaker?

Judi Hodges – Training Specialist, Christian Education Ministries

Judi was born in Newell, NC, where her parents operated a dairy farm. She attended college at Appalachian State University and earned a degree in Institutional Administration. In 1981 she attended Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson to receive a degree in Christian Education, after which she served 14 years as Director of Christian Education for Neely’s Creek ARP Church in Rock Hill, SC. She received a call to join the World Witness Missions’ team in Berlin, Germany in 1996 and has been honored to be a Jubilee Birthday Lady until retiring from World Witness last year. Judi now works part-time for Christian Education Ministries as a training specialist.

Contact her with this email address.

Valerie Elliot Shepard

Born February 27th, 1955 in Shell Mera, Ecuador, Valerie was the only daughter of missionary parents, Elisabeth and Jim Elliot. They were missionaries to the Quichua Indians of the Amazon jungle. In 1956, while attempting to reach the Waodani Indians (a primitive and savage stone age tribe) with 4 other missionaries, Jim was speared to death in January of 1956. Elisabeth and Valerie continued to live with the Quichuas until miraculously they were invited to live with the Waodani tribe that had killed Jim. They lived with these Indians for 2 years in safety and contentment, as Elisabeth and another missionary, Rachel Saint learned to speak the language and translated the story of Jesus to them. Most of them accepted the truth and said they would not kill anymore, and have not since that time.

Elisabeth decided in 1963 to move to the States in order for Valerie to receive an American education, and they lived in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In 1968, Elisabeth married Addison Leitch, a professor of theology and Presbyterian minister. Valerie attended and graduated from Wheaton College in 1976 with a BA in English Literature. She married Walter Shepard shortly after that and moved to live with him in Louisiana.

Valerie has spent 35 years being a pastor’s wife, raising 8 children, homeschooling, and teaching Bible studies. Valerie and Walter’s ministry has been one of hospitality, leading prayer meetings, and learning to live in God’s grace with joy. She has spoken at many retreats for women and has shared some of the radio ministry, called “Gateway to Joy,” with her mother, on Back to the Bible Broadcasting Network. Valerie loves to teach, and was part of the team with her husband in Kinshasa. Walter and Valerie’s desire, ever since they were first married, was to go to the mission field, and Africa was always part of that dream. God opened the door for them to move to Kinshasa, DRC, in August, 2005, and they stayed until June 2008. Because of health reasons, they decided not to go back but God moved them into a different American mission field- planting a church.

They moved to Southport, NC to begin planting a church. The name of the church is Christ Coastal Church, and they are in the process of finding the people to be the core group. There are approximately 92,000 who do not attend church in the county they are in, so they trust and pray God will use them to bring some of those into the kingdom.

Contact her here:

Valerie Elliot Shepard
home: 3693 Sable Palm Lane
Southport, NC 28461
Home phone:910-457-0279
cell: 910-616-2274



Check back as we will add speaker details for your reference.

Got a great speaker to recommend to the women of First Presbyterial? Send the details (a short bio, speaking topics, and contact info) to the webmistress!

Synod Moderator’s Challenge

At the 2011 Women’s Ministries meeting in Bonclarken on July 25, Rev. Andy Putnam, the current ARP Synod Moderator, spoke and referenced his challenge from the annual Synod meeting in June. Alan Avera with ONA also recommended we listen to it. Here is the link so you can take a few minutes to listen to this call to action!

Annual Focus

Women’s Ministries has identified 6 focus areas and asked each Presbyterial to promote and focus on one area each year. The focus for First Presbyterial for 2011-2012 is Bonclarken.

Bonclarken is the retreat center for the ARP denomination in the mountains of North Carolina. And it is so much more than “just” a retreat center. They have events throughout the year, including the very popular children’s camps and Camp Joy during the summer, as well as high school and middle school retreats each Fall and Spring. Each summer the Women have their annual denomination-wide meeting at the start of the week-long Family Bible Conference.

Accommodations are also available for small groups or personal times. The setting is beautiful. The events are uplifting. The friends you make are a treasure.

The other focus areas are:

Erskine Interns (part of the Campus Ministry)

World Witness and Short Term Missions

Outreach North America (ONA)

Christian Education Ministries (CEM)

ARP Magazine