COME DREAM WITH US…We are a Christ-centered women’s ministry grounded in the Bible and dedicated to:
Ministering to women who dream of reaching their world with the good news of Jesus. We teach them how to live out their faith through instruction from the Bible. Giving opportunities for women to deepen their faith and experience spiritual growth in all areas of their lives. Through:
Praying they will be encouraged to cultivate their gifts and to reach their dreams―no matter how impossible they seem.
That they can chase their God-given dreams and channel their talents to glorify God instead of being gripped by the world. They then can share what they are learning with their family, friends and all those who come into their lives.
We believe that the Bible is God’s Word and is to be interpreted by the literal method, where the rules of grammar, literature, history, and culture are consistently applied. In this way, we can accurately understand the author’s meaning, and properly apply the Bible’s principles.
(2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17; 2 PETER 1:20-21; HEBREWS 4:12)We believe that the Scriptures in all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired of God, error free in the original manuscripts, and the supreme authority of faith and practice for followers of Christ.
(DEUTERONOMY 6:4)We believe there is one living and true God, who is one in essence, while eternally existing in three distinct persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
(GENESIS 1:26-27; ROMANS 1:18-32, 3:10-23)We believe that mankind was directly created in the image of God to enjoy His fellowship and fulfill His purposes on earth. However, in Adam, all mankind fell into sin; consequently all people are spiritually dead and subject to the certainty of both physical and spiritual death apart from faith in Jesus Christ.
(JOHN 1:12, 3:16, 14:6; EPHESIANS 2:8-9)We believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. All who believe in Him are declared righteous by the Father on the grounds of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection, being regenerated by and baptized in the Holy Spirit.
CHAIRMAN DORIS COLLIER
PRESIDENT SHELIA ERWIN
VICE PRESIDENT JENINA RIES
2ND VICE PRESIDENT LYNITA MOTES
TREASURER JAN BEARDEN
SECRETARY GLENDA MASSENGALE
EVENTS DIRECTOR Dawn Jordan
ASSISTANT EVENTS DIRECTOR
OUR ADVISORY BOARD
I remember so well the night that I walked down the aisle of my church during a revival service. The evangelist preached a sermon on hell and had invited anyone who was interested in getting saved to walk toward the front of the church. As the invitation hymn continued to be sung by the congregation, I was nervous and scared. I realized, as a 10-year-old girl, that I was a sinner and I did not want to go to hell so I walked to the front of the church. The pastor shook my hand and directed me to sit down and complete a card for church membership and baptism. Regrettably, no one explained to me the true gospel… “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” The “all” included me. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” No one asked me if I understood I was a sinner, and that Christ died for me, and if I wanted to trust (believe) in Him. So, I did not know if I was saved and had eternal life with God.
I was blessed to have Christian parents who prayed that I would understand one day that I was a sinner and needed to trust Christ. They were excited that night and thought their prayers had been answered; but for me, that night began a 20-year journey of questioning, searching, doubting, and trying to have peace by doing all of the things that people do to please God. I went to church, I prayed, I gave my money, I played the piano for the church services, I helped with the children’s ministry, etc. I was considered a good girl. But the Bible says that all of our works are as filthy rags and there is none good, no not one. Jesus died on the cross because I could not be good enough. I could never do enough good works, keep the commandments, etc. I could not, but I tried.
I had a brother, who was six years younger than me. Even though Johnny was physically and mentally challenged, we had a wonderful relationship and loved each other very much. He taught me life lessons about ministering to others and loving people who have special needs. I remember that I was so thankful that I could learn and talk and so sad that he could not. I was an overachiever to say the least and pressured myself to do my very best at everything I did because he could not. My spiritual life was no exception and I wanted to do my very best to please Jesus.
After marriage, I realized my husband’s relationship with God was different than mine. He was at peace with God and did not seem anxious about death or eternal life with God. He had a desire to study the Bible, pray, and memorize scripture. Before our first daughter was born, I became very anxious and fearful about the possibility of dying in childbirth, so I met with a lady in our church and told her I was not sure I had trusted Jesus as my Savior. She told me I was going through a time of doubting, and she was sure I was a Christian because of all the things I was doing in the church. But even her reassurance did not help my anxious heart.
By the time our second daughter was 2 years old, I became more and more aware that something was wrong in my relationship with God. I became desperate to settle my doubts. One day after I talked to my husband again, he suggested we talk with our pastor. When we arrived at the church, the pastor met us in the foyer and kindly escorted us to his office. I told him what had happened when I was a child and how I had continued to try for many years to please God. Rather than try to console me or reassure me, he simply asked me, “Would you like to trust Christ today?” I understood for the first time that it was not me trying harder and harder. I could never take away my sins. God sent Jesus to die on the cross to take away my sins and to offer me the free gift of salvation. Did I believe that Jesus did that just for me? Yes I did. The peace and assurance I had longed for was mine! God gave my pastor special discernment regarding my doubts and the real issue in my life that I needed to trust Jesus because he had struggled with a similar situation in his own life when he was a young boy. I am so grateful. Thank you Lord for saving my soul.
In growing up in Birmingham, Al, I had a wonderful family with both a father and a mother (and one older sister) who took me to church every time the doors were open. I had a very happy childhood. I had gone down the aisle, at my church, at 12 years old and was later baptized thinking I was going to be told how to be saved, but I had only made a "profession" of faith and did not have "possession" of faith for salvation.
From 12-18 years old I went through a crisis. I had been 100% outgoing, unafraid of speaking in groups to a sudden radical change. At 12, I stood and read a paragraph at school and my voice shook. I did not feel afraid, but in sitting down, the teacher made such a wild look at me that the whole class roared with laughter. In looking back, I felt I had experienced a big rejection for the first time in my life and I did not know how to handle it. From then on, in my heart, I determined not to speak in groups.
Of course this is almost impossible in life. The fear had gotten so bad that I decided in January of 1972, the middle of my Junior year, to quit high school. That fall two friends of mine took me to a little Bible study. They knew I was depressed, to say the least. I had them convince me I would not be called on to read or speak.
The teacher was, Mrs. Joyce Yancey. In looking back, the questions that have been asked me, I believe have been questions straight from God to help me think, and have been key in my understanding and growth in Christ. That cold, rainy, very dark November night, Mrs. Yancey left her warm Vestavia home to meet 3 young teens to share with them about Jesus. After the study, she asked me, question number one, "When did you find out all your sins were gone." I answered I had always known that. Of course I had not and I did not, except that I knew about Jesus's death, burial, resurrection, and ascension along with lots of other Bible stories from Sunday school and church. But, I had not been "born again" (John 3:3) and I did not know that I was not born again, because, after all, I had been raised in the church and baptized. She also asked me, upon finding my history of quitting high school and depression, etc., question number two, "Don't you know that the Lord Jesus Christ can set you free?" (John 8: 31-32). Well I didn't. So, I clung. I was desperate for help. I had been seeing a doctor and I had become worse. I had been to see the pastor twice and found no help. I was in Bible study twice a week after that, with Mrs. Yancey and a large group of kids and also had a lot of one-on-one discipleship with Shelia Erwin.
I was finally saved March 13,1973 when I asked Mrs. Yancey, "am I saved?" She talked with me about it and we settled it by faith and thanked the Lord for coming into my life and asking Him, "Please show me if there is anything I do not understand about salvation." And He did! In talking with Shelia Erwin on April 24,1973, I understood for the first time that Christ had paid for all my sins, past, present, and future. My past sins were future to Jesus when He died on the cross, so also were my present and any future sins. That turned my life upside down. (Heb. 10:17-18) I "Echoed" this to people I came in contact with who would listen. Evangelism was a big part of my Bible study training as well as training for street evangelism by the Wales Goebel Ministry. It is still part of my life in asking God for prepared hearts to be brought across my path.
I went to UAB nursing school, graduated, married Jay Jackson, a minister on staff with the Wales Goebel Ministry in Birmingham. He is still on that staff, but is also pastoring a small Bible Church in McCalla, Al. We have three grown and married "kids" and seven grandchildren. The "Echo" has been passed down for salvation, walking in the spirit, sanctification, etc. to my kids and their kids, and others who have been willing to listen.
Though set free from sin, there were still remnants of that destructive fear. I longed to be free from bondage to people. After all, I had that huge rejection, so I wanted to conform so there would not be the rejection even by Christians. This is bondage. So, in hearing a message in April 2011, by Dr. Ted Rendall on Bartimaeus from Luke 18: 35-42, the hearers were asked to answer the question posed by Jesus to Bartimaeus, "What do you want Me to do for you?" (NASB). He asked everyone that saw the need, to write out anonymously on a piece of paper, "What is it you would want Jesus to do for you?" This was the third main question that affected my life so drastically. I wrote out on a piece of paper, "I want to be free from what people think." It was more, for me, being "controlled" by people. So, yes, I cried out to the Lord for healing and deliverance from this bondage. There were many factors involved in freeing me from 50 years of being in this bondage, but praying through these things with Mrs. Hester Rendall, Dr. Rendall's wife, and with counsel from her, there was finally freedom. And like Lazarus, (Jn.11:43-44) I became free from those things which bound me. So, the verses from John 8:31-32 (NASB), Jesus was saying to Jewish believers, and to us as well, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." That's my "Echo", freedom in Christ. First, freedom from the bondage and power "of " sin, broken through salvation. Then freedom "from" daily sins, in progressive sanctification.
"What is it you would want Jesus to do for you?"
"Hello, I am Kate Battistelli mom of Francesca Battistelli. My husband Mike and I were living in New York City in 1983, having met on the National Tour of The King and I where I had my first big role starring as Anna opposite movie star Yul Brynner. We toured the nation for almost 3 years and I performed the role more than 1,000 times, certain a life on Broadway and a Tony award were in my future. Mike was the assistant conductor on the show.
Soon after we were married, we started a side business and met a gal named June, a born-again Jewish lady, who kept inviting us to go to church. I was 29 by this time and Mike was 32. We kept politely turning her down but she kept asking us to go and after awhile it’s just plain rude to say “no” one more time. So, we agreed to join her on a Friday night because, she told us, “you will love the music”,(and we did) and we went with her to her church in Jamaica, Queens.
We had no idea what to expect or what kind of church we were going to as we rode the train to the last stop in Jamaica, Queens, that Friday, March 31, 1984.
It turned out we were heading to a church in an old converted movie theater. When we arrived, the men sat on one side and the women sat on the other. And all the women wore modest skirts or dresses, wearing no makeup or flashy jewelry. Old and worn crutches and braces and bedraggled wheelchairs covered the lobby, all from folks who’d apparently been healed.
You have to understand, being raised in an extremely liturgical church, I felt like I’d been dropped by parachute onto a foreign planet or at least entered a foreign country!
Our friend June walked us down to the front row of that old movie theatre. There must have been at least a thousand people attending the service that night. To say we stood out is an understatement.
I had no touchstone for the exuberant worship of a God I didn’t know and had never met that I experienced in that place. Singing the staid Doxology was about as exuberant as the church I grew up in ever got. But the Holy Spirit, who I began to discover was real and powerful, moved and breathed in this place and so, with deep joy, our hands shot up in the air the moment the pastor gave the invitation to be saved that night. And, honestly, we have never looked back!
The next year we had our only child, our daughter Francesca, and a year and a half later, after much prayer and good counsel, we moved out of New York City, leaving behind thriving theatre and music careers in obedience to the Lord. We don’t regret it for a moment.”