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2018 Officers

PRESIDENT: Elaine DeVusser
1607 E. Unaka Ave.
Johnson City, TN 37601
(423) 946-7601
VICE PRESIDENT: Susan O. Jenkins
1052 Oates Road
Bessemer City, NC 28016
(704) 813-5214    Pisgah ARP
SECRETARY: Jane Johnson
804 Prince Albert Ct.
Statesville, NC 28016
(704) 871-1222
(828) 303-1526 (C)  
First Pres. Statesville
230 Cari Lane
Matthews, NC 28104
(704) 231-8855
Ballantyne ARP
HISTORIAN: Pamela Harris
9 Kenilworth Knolls, #116
Asheville, NC 28805
(704) 880-1946 (c)
(828) 259-6509 (w)
5090 NC 9 HWY
Tyron, NC 28782
(828) 817-6128 (C)(828) 863-2418 (H)
Sandy Plains ARP
1325 Graham Loop Road
Mt. Ulla, NC 28125
(704) 562-8401
Coddle Creek ARP

Ideas for Women’s Ministry Events and Activities


     There are as many ideas for activities as there are different churches. Some of these ideas are suggested to help to bring in younger women at your church. Some are service projects, some are general fellowship events. It is my hope that you will read these and adapt any of them to your situation.

Have a spa day!

Have a Mexican party (instructions are “Bring anything Mexican”. This could be themed for any country—France, Italy, Ireland, etc.

Jubilee Birthday Party—This can be used to raise money for the Jubilee Birthday ladies. At my church, we had a “Ladies Night Out” with decorations using a birthday party theme. Ladies were asked to sit at the table with others who shared their birthday month (a good way to break the ice)! Several circles were assigned to bring a cake decorated with a particular month theme which were used as door prizes. In addition, ladies brought as many pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, or dollars for each year of their age to collect money. Lots of fun!

Ladies Night Tea Party—all tables were decorated for a tea party and the finger food and desserts were on the tables. Name tags had tea pot symbols (another way to mix things up) with symbols hung over each table. You sat at the table which had your symbol.

In house retreat—we do this with a speaker who speaks Friday night and Saturday morning. A light meal is served for dinner and breakfast.

Bonclarken is a great place to have a retreat, whether it is a meeting with a special speaker or leadership training, or sharing and praying in WM..

Support a walk to raise money for cancer research.

Have a “baby shower” to benefit Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Prayer meetings at a lake or outdoor area.

Our circles provide candy for Easter Egg Hunts and Trunk or Treat events.

Collect shoes for the homeless—there is a special need if there has been a lot of ice or snow, since they walk everywhere and shoes wear out faster when wet!

Our local shelter provides lunch, donated clothes, a place to shower and wash clothes, and a warm place to stay during the day. They are always in need of coffee, sugar, laundry detergent, etc.

Many circles have Pastor Appreciation Month where gift cards, homemade goodies, etc. are given to the pastor. We also do Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month.

We have partnered with a local Boys and Girls Club where we do a Bible School in the summer, feed a supper meal every fifth Monday and have a Trunk or Treat event for the kids there in October.

One year, we had a fashion show using a boy and girl who modeled clothes reminiscent of various decades. For example, poodle skirt, saddle oxfords, ponytail with scarf for a 50’s girl, t-shirt and jeans for the 50’s boy.

Valentines banquets or spaghetti suppers for fund raisers (one of these had the youth as waiters to raise money for their mission trip. Other events have included casseroles and desserts sold around Thanksgiving.

We have tried to be creative with our presentations for Life Membership awards. We have done a “This is Your Life”, skits, and a game show format to give facts about the recipient.

Christmas time is a great time for Women’s Ministries. We now have a Community Christmas Store for area families and their children. They apply and provide us with the children’s sizes. We shop and have a variety of clothes for the parent to shop for the items for their child. Many of our women help with the shopping, set up, and running the store as well as financially supporting it. Each family also gets a food box as they leave. While the parents are shopping, the children are downstairs at a Birthday Party for Jesus.

Ideas from Vicki Marsh, Tracy Smith, and Margie Persons


Print version here.

The Presbyterial Board

Let me introduce you to the Presbyterial Board, and talk a bit about what we do.

The main goal of the Women’s Ministries Presbyterial Board is to encourage the women in churches in First Presbyterial to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and serve Him. We use resources provided by the Women’s Ministries (formerly Synodical) board and we, in turn, support the Women’s Ministries Board.

The Board is coordinated by a President. She organizes the 3 board meetings a year, pulling together the agenda, and working to see that the business of the board is performed. That business typically includes the Annual Meeting in October, the Retreat every other year, and supporting the Women’s Ministries Annual Meeting and Showcase at Bonclarken in July.

These meetings and the retreat are great ways to encourage fellowship, spread information about the Bible study books and other resources, and provide speakers to provide spiritual encouragement and growth, and information about the missionary efforts of our denomination. The President also attends three meetings with the Women’s Ministries Board, where she meets with other Presbyterial Presidents and Representatives, and the Women’s Ministries Board.

The Vice President attends the 3 board meetings a year, and coordinates with the host church for the Annual Meeting each October. She has a notebook with details about the prior Annual Meetings to provide guidance on the content for the meeting. She is able to provide guidance and support to the host church to ensure speakers are secured and details are handled. The Vice President becomes President the next year.

The President picks someone to be Secretary for her year. The Secretary attends the three board meetings and writes up the minutes of those meetings.

The Present then serves one year as Past President, attending the board meetings and providing guidance or advice to the President and the Board.

The Treasurer serves a two year term, managing the money sent to the Presbyterial by the churches. Some of this money is then sent to the Women’s Ministries to support that board and Synodical Hall upkeep and the Coordinator’s salary. Some is kept in the Presbyterial account to support the Annual Meeting, Retreat, and Board expenses. For example, this money pays for the President to attend the 3 Women’s Ministries board meetings each year, as some meetings require an overnight stay.

The Historian serves a two year term receiving the History submissions from the churches, providing guidance to the churches for writing those histories, and writing a history for the Presbyterial to be submitted to the Women’s Ministries historian. The Historian also handles Life Membership and Love Gift pins and certificates

The Spiritual Life Chair serves a two year term seeking to strive to advance the spiritual growth of the women through Bible study, prayer, observance of the Lord’ s Day, family worship and regular church attendance. She shares details of the Bible study books selected by the Women’s Ministries board and other good resources for women and family spiritual growth.

The Missions and Outreach Chair serves a two year term with the objective of sharing with the women in First Presbytery information about and ways to support local and foreign missions. This includes being a member of the Presbytery committees for World Witness and Church Extension, and sharing updates on church planting in First Presbytery as well as missionary status abroad.

With some flexibility to them, these positions are not too time-consuming. The meetings of the Board are kept to 3 a year. One in March/April, one the day before or day of the Annual Meeting at Bonclarken in July, and one held briefly the morning of the Annual Meeting in the fall. But it is hoped that the continuity of a Board, the organization of the Annual Meeting and Retreat, and the support of the Women’s Ministries board are of benefit to the women of First Presbytery and of the ARP Denomination.

Along with this, we form a committee to coordinate the Retreat every other year, and a Nominating Committee to find women to fill the board positions that come open every year (Vice President and 2 Chair positions every year).

If you are interested in serving in any of the board positions or on the committees, please contact any board member. We would love to hear from you!

Helping the Hungry

World Hunger set up
I want to share something the Huntersville ARP church did recently. We have allowed the Baptist church across the street to use our parking lot for their annual World Hunger sale. This is a huge yard sale held every year, with donations coming in from anyone interested, and then sold one Saturday morning in various departments manned by members of the Baptist church. They routinely bring in $5,000 or even as much as $8,000 between the yard sale and a silent auction. These proceeds go to local food pantries and a charity the Baptist church partners with in Haiti.

Last year one of our women decided we should do more than just allow parking. After some discussion, it was decided that HARP would host one of the departments on our front lawn. It was very convenient, a place to wander through on the way to or from the rest of the sale. Six weeks before the sale, volunteers from our church began showing up during the two drop off times every Friday and Saturday. We sorted, wrapped, and packed Home Decor items. The clearly labelled boxes were then stored in storage bins until the big weekend. World Hunger table prep

Several volunteers came out on Friday to help set up the tables, unpack boxes, organize and coordinate all the items, and then cover it all in plastic.

We had more flowers and baskets than you could imagine. Lots of lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps, bedside lamps, with lamp shades of every size, shape and color. We had lots of pictures and artwork, some of it worth a nice penny. We had knickknacks, and candles, and lots of miscellany. After several hours of setup and covering, we headed home.

World Hunger prep - cover pan

The next morning came early, and it was dark and chilly. More volunteers met to start uncovering and get a feel for what was where. And for a bunch of people who apparently don’t go to yard sales, we were praying as we haggled prices. And we reminded everyone it was all for a good cause. A few rotations of volunteers and several hours later, most of it was gone.

See all those lamps!   And more lamps, and artwork.

What was left got packed up in boxes again and then put on a tractor trailer headed to a town in West Virginia. What great fun pooling our resources with an existing event and church. We are already making plans for next year!

2013 WH sale breakdown 2013 WH sale7

Minutes of the 106th First Presbyterial Annual Meeting

If you have photos I could include here, email them to Laura Navarro (lauranavarro.cog  (at)

First Presbyterial Women’s Ministries 106th Annual Meeting Minutes
October 19th, 2013

Laura Navarro, President, called the meeting to order. A quorum was established.

Attendance by 127 women, representing 24 churches.

Connie Savell issued the welcome to Boyce Memorial.

Pastor Nick Napier of Boyce Memorial performed the Invocation.

Lil introduced the missions speaker, Tricia Bond who spoke on John 10:2-5 and also verses 11-15.  Jesus calls us by name, daily, to come and follow Him.  As His sheep, we hear His voice and respond by sharing with others and stopping along the way to minister to others.

Lil introduced the keynote speaker Kendra Graham who spoke on Psalm 23:1 and John 10:1-3.  Who do you say Jesus is?  Jesus, the Shepherd calls us and cares enough about us to put us in a place for our safety, not for our comfort.

Laura offered the offertory prayer and blessing.

The offering was taken.  The total was $479.50

Lunch was served in the Fellowship Hall.


The meeting was called to order by Laura Navarro who spoke on the following topics:
Vote on business

Each church may have up to four Delegates– the Women’s Ministries President (or Vice-President in the President’s absence), the Women’s Ministries Treasurer (or another Board member in the Treasurer’s absence), and two at large (non Board member) Delegates.

  1. Recommendation:
    The First Presbyterial Board recommends that the chairman positions of Family Care, and Local Church Contact be eliminated from the First Presbyterial Board starting with the 2014 term.

Constitution Amendment:
Article IV, B – modify to remove specific chairman roles
Current: B. Ministry Chairmen: Spiritual Life Chairman; Missions and Outreach Chairman; Family Care Chairman; Historian and other ministry leaders as needed to carry out the work.

Proposed: B. Ministry leaders as needed to carry out the work.

ByLaws Amendments:

Propose to remove Article VI, Sections 4 and 6 Renumber Section 5 as Section 4

There was no discussion or questions.

The vote passed with no opposition.

Nominating Committee was: Cathy Houck, Mary Lineberger, and Vicki Marsh

The list of proposed officers for 2014

  • President Lil Summerville
  • Vice President Margie Persons
  • Past President Laura Navarro
  • Secretary Penny Wilson
  • Treasurer  Beth Smith
  • Missions and Outreach  Veronica Unda
  • Spiritual Life  Mittie Douglass
  • Historian Linda Hardin

There was no discussion or questions.

The vote passed with no opposition.

Report from Church Extension

Randy Foster gave a report from Church Extension, including the following points:

  1. Church Extension does 3 things: receives churches into Presbytery; church revitalization and mobilization; plants mission churches.
  2. Women’s Ministry is the heart and soul of the church.  It upholds the hands of pastors in a marvelous way.  Could Women’s Ministry uphold the hands of the Church Extension committee by adopting a mission church?  Providing encouragement, etc.?
  3. Looking forward to partnering with the Missions and Outreach committee

Memorial Service

Linda Hardin, Historian, read the names of the women who passed away in the last year.

Installation of Officers

Connie Savell installed the 2014 officers:

  •  President:   Lil Summerville
  • Vice President:  Margie Persons
  • Past President: Laura Navarro
  • Secretary:   Penny Wilson
  • Treasurer:   Beth Smith
  • Missions and Outreach:  Veronica Unda
  • Spiritual Life: Mittie Douglass
  • Historian: Linda Hardin

Invitation to the 2014 Meeting

Cathy Hunt issued the invitation as Coddle Creek ARP Church in Mooresville will host the 107th annual meeting on October 18th, 2014.

Passing of the Gavel

Laura Navarro gave her closing speech. She also encouraged the use of the websites and

Response and Closing Prayer

Lil Summerville, newly installed President, gave the closing remarks and ended in prayer. The meeting was followed by Workshops and a Showcase:

Treasurer’s Workshop, Beth Smith
Bible Study Workshop, Laura Navarro

Showcase of Ideas and Information, Board Members

You can download a copy of the minutes here.

A Word about Women’s Ministries

Our Vision for Women’s Ministries

To encourage and equip the community of ARP women to minister together for God’s glory and purpose.

Strategic Challenges

  • Encourage every woman to grow in their relationship to God through His Son, Jesus Christ
  • Equip women to glorify God through their relationships with other women
  • Equip women to glorify God through their service in the local church, their communities, and the world
  • Equip leaders to guide women in fellowship together, in service among women, the local church, community, and the world
  • Pray faithfully for church leaders and ARP Women’s Ministries


A letter to the President:

You’re President of your local church Women’s Ministries, Congratulations! Your title may not be President and your local organization may not be called Women’s Ministries. The details vary much more than just a few years ago when it was the Women of the Church with a specific list of board positions and ministry chairs. The benefits of the change are that you have the freedom to do what works for your church and call it something that fits in the culture of your church. Maybe it’s a women’s council, or a committee for women’s discipleship, or something entirely different.

You are not required to have a board or set positions. You are not required to gather dues or even have a clear list of members. Women’s Ministries is the ministering of women together for each other and to each other. This means a small church with a few women still has Women’s Ministries, even if it’s just having coffee with one another or chatting while tending nursery.

Your job may consist in organizing meetings of your Board, Council, Committee, or group of willing women to discuss ways to encourage and equip the women of your church. Your primary function may be to ensure communication from Presbyterial and Women’s Ministries about events and resources is communicated to the women in your church. You can encourage ministry opportunities like a group meeting for Bible study, or a brunch with a speaker, or a service for the community.

In the ARP we have a Presbyterian form of government, and the structure of the Women’s Ministries matches that to some degree. Within the Presbytery which is a regional governing identity, the women have a Presbyterial Board or representative. This person or Board has responsibilities to all the women in ARP churches in that Presbytery. In First Presbytery, the Presbyterial Board coordinates an Annual Meeting on the 3rd Saturday of October and a Retreat at Bonclarken every other year. We have a Treasurer who collects donations and offerings from local churches and coordinates passing most of that on to the Women’s Ministries at the top level of the denomination. We also have ministry chair positions for Missions & Outreach, Historian, and Spiritual Life. These chairwomen are available to provide encouragement and resources to aid you in meeting the needs of the women in your church.

Above the Presbytery, our denomination’s governing body is called Synod. For many years, we had the Women’s Synodical Union (WSU) to represent the women at that level. Now we just call it Women’s Ministries. We also have a Women’s Coordinator, Elizabeth Burns. She is a salaried employee of Women’s Ministries who travels to churches and retreats and is available by email and phone for discussions about women’s ministry in your church.

Reach out to the Presbyterial contacts, the Women’s Ministries board, or the Coordinator.

Spiritual Life Recommended Reading

WM Books 1

The Women’s Ministries Spiritual Life committee has put together a list of approved books. Consider these for personal reading, Bible study and Circle groups, or gifts. A printable list is available to download here.

ARP WM Spiritual Life Recommended Reading List 2013 – 2014


Abundant Life Day Book, Nancy Guthrie

Beside Still Waters, Charles Spurgeon

Heart Aflame, John Calvin

Holiness, Day By Day, Jerry Bridges

My Father’s World,  Philip Graham Ryken

One Year Book of Hope, Nancy Guthrie

Pierced By the Word, John Piper

Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett



A Praying Life, Paul Miller

A Way to Pray, Matthew Henry

Developing A Healthy Prayer Life, Joel Beeke

Pray with Your Eyes Open, Pratt, Richard, Jr.

Prayer: A Biblical Perspective, Eric Alexander

Praying the Saviour’s Way, Derek Thomas


Studies/Christian Living/Women’s Ministry

Beeke, Joel

  • Family Worship
  • The Epistles of John

Bridges, Jerry

  • Respectable Sins

Butterfield, Rosario C.

  • Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

Doriani, Daniel

  • Women and Ministry: What the Bible Teaches

Duncan, Ligon

  • Women’s Ministry in the Local Church

Eastin, Staci

  • The Organized Heart: a Woman’s Guide to Conquering Chaos

Eggerichs, Emerson

  • Love and Respect

Elliot, Elisabeth

  • Discipline: The Glad Surrender
  • Let Me Be a Woman
  • Shadow of the Almighty

Ferguson, Sinclair

  • Discovering God’s Will
  • Grow in Grace
  • In Christ Alone

Fitzpatrick, Elyse

  • A Steadfast Heart
  • Because He Loves Me
  • Helper by Design: God’s Perfect Plan for Marriage
  •  Idols of the Heart
  • Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety
  • The Empty Nest
  • Women Helping Women

Ganz, Nancy

  • Genesis: A Commentary for Children

George, Elizabeth

  • A Woman after God’s Own Heart
  • A Woman’s Call to Prayer    
  • Life Management for Busy Women

Guthrie, Nancy

  • Be still My Soul
  • Holding on to Hope
  • Lamb of God: Seeing Jesus in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy
  • Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis
  • Son of David: Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament

Hughes, Barbara

  • Disciplines of a Godly Woman

Hunt, Susan

  • By Design
  • Leadership for Women in the Church
  • Legacy of Biblical Womanhood
  • Paul’s Letters to Maturing Churches
  • Prayers of the Bible
  •  Spiritual Mothering
  •  True Woman

James, Carolyn Custis

  • Lost Women of the Bible

Keller, Timothy

  • Every Good Endeavor
  •  The Meaning of Marriage
  •  The Reason for God

Kimmel, Tim

  • Grace Based Parenting

Miller, C. John

  • Come Back Barbara
  •  Repentance: A Daring Call to Real Surrender

Miller, Paul

  • Love Walked Among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus

Miller, Rose Marie

  • From Fear to Freedom

Nielson, Kathleen B.

  • Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word
  • Proverbs: The Ways of Wisdom

Peace, Martha

  • Damsels in Distress: Biblical solutions for Problems Women Face

Piper, John

  • Finally Alive

Piper, Noel

  • Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God

Stott, John

  • Christian Leadership

Tripp, Paul David

  • Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God

WM Books 2

Proverbs Study book resources

Prov 3-5

The theme verse for 2014 is Proverbs 3:5 and the two books recommended for Bible Study in Proverbs are A Proverbs Driven Life by Anthony Selvaggio and A Father’s Gift by Kenneth Wingate.

We have an outline for the Selvaggio book and an outline for the Wingate book as well as a a more detailed overview for Selvaggio and a detailed overvuew for Wingate in a presentation format that you may fine useful.

Two other resources recommended by the Women’s Ministries Board and Elizabeth Burns are Kathleen Buswell Nielson’s Proverbs study Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom, the  Journibles for Proverbs (a Scripture writing journal) you could use in conjunction with the study (check it out at Reformation Heritage Books), and Girls Gone Wise by Mary Kassian (which at first glance seems for young girls/women only, but is appropriate for any age woman).

Most of these books are available through the CEM Bookstore and can be found on this page.

Women’s Ministries Annual Meeting turns 100

Life is Great thumb

The 100th Women’s Ministries Annual Conference (formerly the Synodical Annual Meeting) will be held at Bonclarken on July 27-28. As always, this meeting is held the day before the Family Bible Conference begins.

We encourage all women at ARP churches to attend this event. More details will be provided, but currently plans include a worship service led by Dr. Derek Thomas, and Ellie Lofaro as the main speaker. The planning committee also promises scones and shortbread cookies.

Plan to stay on for Family Bible Conference. The speakers for FBC will be Jim Klukow and Richard Phillips.

We have posters and you can print this flyer to encourage women to save the date. Check back here for more details.


World Focus 2014 – Get Ready

In June 2014 you have a great opportunity to get to know more about what our denomination is doing here in the US and abroad. World Focus 2014, June 12-13, 2014, will be held right at the end of Synod.

Over 90% of all World Witness missionaries will be present to interact with you and share what God is doing around the world. All other ARP agencies will be represented as well. You will be able to learn about all Christian Education Ministries’ events, seminars, and resources, as well as interact with the staff and trainers.

Dr. Mark Ross will be the speaker, all of the ARP agencies, as well as the Women’s Ministries will be represented, there will be special music. It proves to be an exciting event, a time to Renew, Refresh, and Re-Energize. We hope to see you there!