Women merge old-time revival, newfangled website at luncheon
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) –After two verses of three hymns each, a plate of fried chicken and cornbread, and testimonies from two preachers, women at the Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon could have sworn they were at a good ol‘ Baptist revival. Given the atmosphere created by the red and white gingham linens, old hymnals and wooden fans, they may have been hard pressed to remember they were actually in the Seelig Banquet Room at Southwestern learning about all the ways they can continue to serve the kingdom.
“We all have our various responsibilities,” First Lady Dorothy Patterson told the more than 100women attending the revival-themed luncheon, “but I am begging and pleading with you, as you go out from this hall today, to make a point sometime in the next few days, to get on your face before the Lord and say, 'What can I do? How can I undergird the kingdom? What is it that you have for me Lord?' There are many opportunities. If Terri Stovall runs off her list, I've got two or three more lists. So we will find something for everyone.”
One of the main items on those lists is preparing and providing for Revive This Nation, a spring revival program that deploys student and faculty preachers to churches across America for four days of preaching and evangelism.
“In reviving this nation, every single one of us in this room has a part to play,” Patterson said. “I want you to go out from here thinking, 'What can I do to revive the nation?' There are many ways. Sometimes it's from your own home. Sometimes it’s going out to do some special task for which God has anointed you. Sometimes it's giving of your energy. Sometimes it's giving of your resources. Sometimes it's giving time on your knees just to intercede and to pray and to ask God to bring revival.”
As they finished off the revival-style meal with peach cobbler and cream, the women listened as Travis Trawick and Charles Patrick, two preachers the seminary sent out on revival in 2011, recalled their experiences. Both men talked about the opportunities they had to minister to the communities and the pastors who work in areas largely devoid of like-minded fellowship.
Dean of Women’s Programs Terri Stovall and Women’s Programs intern Katie McCoy also introduced a new “baby” to the group in the birth of a new website, biblicalwoman.org, which will serve as an information hub for all things lady-like at Southwestern. The site features a twice-weekly updated blog, information about classes and degrees, and information about upcoming events and how to get involved.
“We're seeking really to use this website as a way to boldly voice His truth into her world in a time where the world needs to hear this truth,” Stovall said. “We are doing this by being distinctly feminine, by being doctrinally faithful, and really being devotedly fearless to what God has called us to do.”
McCoy said this website will not shy away from difficult issues but will apply biblical wisdom to every situation that leaves women searching for answers.
“Something each of us knows from our own personal lives is that God's word really does have answers for the real questions, doesn't it?” McCoy asked the women. “So because of that, we're going to be asking those tough questions in life and not be afraid to give the real tough answers.”
Like any good revival, women did not leave the luncheon without a renewed sense of purpose and a clear invitation to spend their energies and prayers in Gospel work. Though the women’s auxiliary has only existed, as Patterson noted, within the last decade, the ministry is not slow in recruiting help from those who wish to take part in taking the good news of Christ to the ends of the earth.
“Now that you're on the scene, don't think that you can just sit back and do nothing, because the time has come for us to undergird these many programs,” Patterson said, adding that she is highly grateful for the faithfulness and support the women have already shown Southwestern and especially its women’s programs.
“This is one of the most wonderful organizations we have,” Patterson said of the auxiliary. “We here at Southwestern need you.”