First Baptist planning women’s conference

LifeWay author and Bible teacher Kelly Minter is coming to Jackson to lead a women’s conference designed to encourage the heart, build community, and nourish the soul. “Cultivate: A Women’s Gathering Around the Word,” offers an opportunity for women from across the Southeast to fellowship.

“No matter the size of the venue, the presence of the Lord is what makes a gathering truly memorable. The name, Cultivate, is a nod to the way God cultivates our hearts,” Kelly said. First Baptist Church Jackson (FBCJ) is hosting the conference March 31 and April 1.

Since last fall, a team of volunteers have been working alongside Kasey Shackelford to plan every aspect of the conference. Kasey, FBCJ’s women’s missions and ministry director and missions deployment coordinator, is excited about an event that provides an opportunity for “women to be able to connect to a Christ-centered community through a local body of believers.”

Cultivate is intentionally designed to provide attendees with periods of personal reflection as well as corporate Bible study.

Conference volunteer Rebecca Chaney, a pastor’s daughter like Kelly, has participated in several Kelly Minter Bible studies and is excited about the opportunity women across Mississippi and beyond will have to be taught by Kelly. “I highly encourage women from all over the state to come. This Cultivate event will be life changing, because I have experienced that myself.” Rebecca, who also works with FBCJ’s college ministry, has not only worked through several Minter studies as a student, but now leads college-age young women through them as a teacher.

Another benefit of Cultivate is that it joins together women of all ages. Carla Taborda, a Mississippi College senior and conference volunteer, knows firsthand the many benefits attendees will experience. “Kelly Minter’s teaching has impacted my life because she made me see the beauty of taking apart Scripture and understanding it better.” As Carla nears her college graduation, many of the lessons learned through Kelly’s studies about “knowing how to best love God and people” will serve as guides as she steps into the work world.

A third benefit of the conference is that participants will have an opportunity to put feet to their faith through participation with Justice and Mercy International. Kelly, first introduced to a more intentional missional commitment by Bible study teacher Beth Moore, shares, “We’re not meant to be filled without pouring out. The invitation to be on mission with God, both here and abroad, is one the greatest joys of my life.”

Beverly Shelton, FBCJ conference volunteer, knows those who have attended FBCJ-sponsored women’s events in the past will find in Cultivate “the same tradition of excellent Bible teaching and worship, as well as a chance to join hearts together in prayer. There is a lot of excitement as we count the days before Kelly Minter and the Cultivate worship team join us.”

The conference will be held in the FBCJ sanctuary. Friday’s evening session will be from 7 until 9 p.m., and the Saturday morning segment will run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door. Tickets can also be purchased at firstbaptistjackson.org/cultivate for $35. Student tickets are $25 each with a valid student ID. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are available for $30.

For more information, call 601-949-1900.

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