Wives endowment reduces cost of this year's luncheon
By Debbie Moore
ATLANTA (BP)--Jill Briscoe will be the featured speaker at this
year's Southern Baptist Ministers' Wives Conference at noon Tuesday, June 15, in
conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Atlanta. Tickets for
the 1999 luncheon are significantly reduced in price this year due to achieving the first
goal amount for the SBC Ministers' Wives Endowment Fund. Tickets requested by June 1 are
only $10 each. Tickets requested after June 1 and at the Southern Baptist Convention
registration area in Atlanta on Sunday and Monday will be only $12 each.
"Renewal on the Run" is the theme for this 44th annual
session of the Southern Baptist Ministers' Wives Conference, announced Lanese Dockery,
president for 1998-99. Dockery is the wife of David Dockery, president of Union
University, Jackson, Tenn. The meeting and luncheon will be held in the ballroom of the
Georgia World Congress Center, the same site as the SBC. All wives of current and retired
SBC ministers -- pastors, staff members, chaplains, missionaries, professors and other
denominational workers -- are invited to attend.
Briscoe, a pastor's wife herself, has been the author and
co-author of more than 40 books, including devotional material, study guides, children's
literature and poetry. Known and loved for her wit, wisdom and disarming honesty, Briscoe
is an adviser to the women's ministries of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wis., where her
husband, Stuart, has been pastor since 1970. She is executive editor of Just Between Us, a
magazine for ministry wives and women in ministry. Originally from Liverpool, England,
Briscoe and her husband have been married 41 years. They have three children -- all of
whom currently are involved in Christian ministry -- and nine grandchildren.
"The meeting's theme, 'Renewal on the Run,' is also a title
of one of Jill Briscoe's books," Dockery said. She hopes to be able to provide a copy
of the book to all women in attendance.
"The theme represents what our officers feel is required of all ministry wives,"
Dockery said. "Each church has its own calendar of events unique to its history.
Ministry wives have the challenge not only to attend these events, but also often to have
an active role. Keeping one's own devotional and prayer life current is the avenue by
which we resist burnout and have something from our own spiritual resources to share with
Since vacations, retreats and other "time-outs" are not
available to ministers' wives "as often as the need arises," Dockery said she
wants ministers' wives to "encourage ourselves in the Lord as we go or as we run to
all that is required" in order to "complete the race and keep the faith."
Dockery said she asked Briscoe to speak not only because she personally has been engaged
in ministry for more than 30 years, but also because "she has allowed God to use her
all over the world to encourage ministry wives." Briscoe has been "a faithful
teacher of Scripture, and this, coupled with her devotion to God and her heart for
ministry wives, makes her a most appropriate role model for all of us," Dockery said.
"We desperately need role models who show us what walking with Christ actually looks
Another feature of this year's meeting will be the presentation
of the Mrs. J. M. Dawson Distinguished Service Award, presented only nine previous times
since its establishment in the 1950s. The award is presented to a minister's wife for her
"distinct denominational contribution beyond the local church," according to the
bylaws of the SBC Ministers' Wives Conference. Nominations were requested throughout 1998
for the award to be presented this year. The committee to choose the award recipient is
composed of past presidents, current officers, nominees for office and all committee
chairpersons of the SBC Ministers' Wives Conference.
The Ministers' Wives Endowment Fund was established in 1995 by the executive committee of
the SBC Ministers' Wives Conference, primarily through the efforts of Nancy Sullivan, wife
of John Sullivan, executive director of the Florida Baptist Convention. The fund was
designed to generate income to defray costs of the annual luncheon, hoping to make the
meal more affordable for every Southern Baptist minister's wife who wants to attend.
Until the $100,000 goal for the endowment fund was successfully
met and exceeded in 1997, the ticket cost was around $20 for many years for the
full-course dinner featuring a nationally recognized speaker. Total endowment to date is
$130,000. A new goal of $200,000 has been set to complete the fund. Any individual or
church interested in contributing to the endowment fund to further reduce expenses related
to the annual SBC Ministers' Wives Conference and luncheon may contact Nancy Sullivan at
the Florida Baptist Convention, 1230 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207.
To request the $10 luncheon tickets before June 1, send a check
(made payable to the SBC Ministers' Wives Conference) and a self-addressed stamped
envelope to the group's treasurer, Diane Newell, at 8649 Autumn Green Drive, Jacksonville,
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