GREENSBORO — Charlotte Akin sees God’s hand on her life.
She credits God with helping her understand that being left at the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home in Pelmetto, Ga., at the age of 9 was the best move for her. I know the Lord revealed that to me so that I would hope,” she said.
BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle
Charlotte Akin prepares to speak to the North Carolina Baptist Ministers' Wives Nov. 10 at Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro
Akin was the keynote speaker Nov. 10 at the annual North Carolina Baptist Minister’s Wives meeting at Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro.
Using 2 Corinthians 3:18 the theme for the meeting was “A Reflection of You.” About 40 women gathered to share pastries and worship together.
“A lot of you have been in ministry a long time,” said Phyllis Turnage, who is not only a pastor’s wife but a pastor’s child. “Sometimes you’re just not real. If you’re wearing any masks just them off and be who you are.”
Tracy Lane, a single mom who lives in Ocean Isle Beach, led the women in music. She shared how God had turned her life around.
“God has changed me, inside and out,” Lane said. “He tells us in His word who He really wants us to be — a reflection of Him.”
Akin is the wife of Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest. The couple has been married 30 years and has been at Southeastern five years. She shared about her sons, their families and her grandchildren. Akin facilitates “Biblical Foundations for the Minister’s Wife,” a class for women as part of the women’s certificate program at Southeastern.
Referring to the theme verse, Akin said turning to Jesus allows the veil to be “taken away.” Akin remembers being a “sad and angry little girl” when she arrived at the children’s home, sometimes waiting for hours for her dad to show.
At age 11, Akin made a decision that allowed an introduction to a Father that made her feel “loved and safe.”
About five years later, Danny Akin took Charlotte on their first date to see a romantic movie — “Jaws.” They married anyway. She was 19; he was 21.
“We were young and had a lot to learn,” Charlotte said.
When the couple was living in Dallas, one Monday night their youngest son, Timothy, was hit by a car and hospitalized three weeks. “The Lord completely healed him,” she said. Now he and his family serve with the International Mission Board.
“My life is a reflection of God’s mighty, redemptive power,” she said.
In closing, Akin read some of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” encourage the ministers’ wives to focus on God.
The group plans a retreat each summer and works with the Ministers’ Spouses Support Group with the Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC). “Daughters of the King,” the 47th annual retreat is slated for July 20-22, 2009, with Doris Brooks as Bible study leader and Lori Cole as the praise and worship leader. A retreat for new ministers’ wives is set Oct. 16-17, 2009, at Camp Mundo Vista near Asheboro.
Presided over by Turnage, outgoing president, the meeting in Greensboro involved special music by Tracy Lane as well as reports from Janis Baker, Betsy McSwain and Margaret Harding. Officers for 2008-2009 are: Gray Frady, president; Donna Burnop, president elect; Cheryl Reeves, vice president; Janis Baker; secretary/treasurer; and Lori James, secretary/treasurer elect. Regional representatives include: Marlene Johnson, eastern; Dee Dee Whray, central #1; Lafayetta Reaves, central #2; Debbie Goforth, western #1; and Polly Heffner, western #2.
All the officers give generously out of their time and money,” said Baker.
Harding, adult specialist with WMU-NC, shared some of the activities and ministries of the WMU-
NC, including the poverty simulation, military spouses prayer partnership, involvement with Habitat of Humanity build in Greensboro and the Missions Extravaganza planned in March 2009.
McSwain shared about the prayer partnership with Vermont ministers’ wives where 55 women are already participating.
“One of the main concerns of ministers’ wives today is we need friendship,” McSwain said. “Many times they felt like they were alone in their situation.”
The offering was designated as a gift to Roberts Chapel Baptist Church in Pendelton. The church burned Oct. 30. McSwain said the church is receiving support from members as well as other churches with hymnals, pews, etc.
The ministers’ wives are already excited about next year’s meeting in conjunction with the pastors’ conference. The scheduled guest is Henry Blackaby’s wife. One thing they hope to add next year is childcare so more women will be able to come.