Written by Evangelist Irether Sanford
In the words of Jurisdictional Supervisor of the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia, Mother Nellie M. Townes, “To God be the glory for the great things He is doing among and through us!”
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On Saturday, February 11, the Thelma G. Vaughan Memorial Annual Prayer Breakfast and Baby Contest took place in the grand ballroom of the Richmond Marriott hotel. Saints from every district came out in large numbers to show their support for the event.
The ballroom was quickly converted into a house of worship as the Jurisdictional Choir set the atmosphere with their renditions of Jesus is the Light and There’s No One Like You. Next came a season of sanctified prayer as various district superintendents declared blessings upon the Jurisdiction, the nation, the babies, and the sick and shut-in.
Evangelist Missionary Vivian Pruitte gave a special presentation to our Elect Lady, Mother Charletta Thomas, providing a single rose to the rose of our Jurisdiction. With her usual elegance, Mother Thomas followed with greetings to the church body.
Soon after it was time for the Word. Superintendent John H. Lyon of the Danville Virginia introduced the speaker of the hour, Pastor James A. Williams of Holy Temple COGIC.
“Now don’t you let any of those forks and knives come flying this way,” Elder Williams began with a smile, noting that the waiters had not removed all of the eating utensils and glasses from the table. An anointed man of God, Elder Williams preached the unadulterated Word with conviction and boldness, focusing on the topic “God, Who Has Allowed Us.”
The service could not end without remarks from Bishop Ted Thomas Sr., prelate of the Jurisdiction. Bishop Thomas exhorted the people of God to stir up the gift that God had placed within them and reminded the Jurisdiction to remember the old landmarks – our theme for 2012.
Before long, the entire house was on its feet as Bishop Thomas reiterated his decision to run for the 2012 General Board of the Church Of God In Christ.
“It’s time to pass the mantle!” he echoed throughout the ballroom to cheers and applause.
Finally, it was time to announce the winner of the baby contest. The contest is a fun way for the districts to support the ministry of the Jurisdiction. Through friendly competition, each district sponsors a baby to see who can raise the most.
A hush filled the room as people waited to hear the outcome of a long-standing competition between the two reigning districts – the Great Northern District, who has taken home the prize for the last several years, and the Central District who often places just behind them. With cheers and excitement, Missionary Judy Little announced William Marson Simuel Thomas, son of Elder Marc and Missionary Kim Thomas, as the winning baby – with the Central District raising just over $8,500 for his district!
The adorable faces of cute little ones in their outfits far exceed expectations as the contestants provoked each other to good works – surpassing the previous year’s benchmark and making everyone winners.
In closing, Mother Townes reiterated her elation at the success of the benefit. “Let’s keep this love,” she expressed. For indeed, that is how the First Jurisdiction of Virginia operates together – in love!