Disciples Women’s Ministry is celebrating their 145th birthday in 2019. This celebration marks October 21,1874 as the day that Caroline Neville Pearre organized the women of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to address the mission and ministry that was then lacking in the church. The Christian Women’s Board of Missions (CWBM) was organized, and uncommon for the era, was to be managed exclusively by women.
The name may have changed through the years (today the organization is known as International Disciples Women’s Ministry), but the mission empowering women remains the same: to provide opportunities for spiritual growth, enrichment, education and creative ministries, enabling women to develop a sense of personal responsibility for the whole mission of the church.
In 1886, a group of women in St. Louis, led by Mattie Younkin, recognizing a need to assist poor and orphaned children began what is now the National Benevolent Association, the social services ministry of the church.
In 1895, Nancy E Atkinson, a founding member of the CWBM, and her husband received news of the death of a pastor who left behind a nearly blind widow and several children with no means of support. Establishing a fund to provide support for this family was the beginning of the Pension Fund for ministers in the Christian Church.
The list of achievements by women and often for women, continued through the years, encompassing many races and cultures.
This year, the Disciples Women of Central Christian Church kicked-off their September meeting (the group meets monthly September through May) exploring new charitable possibilities to expand their outreach.
At that meeting, five winners from The Ms. Texas Senior America pageant shared the charities of their passions with the group. Their outreach included a broad list of community services that included helping the homeless, abused and neglected animals, children with special needs and more.
At the October meeting of Disciples Women of Central, it was decided that a “warm outer wear drive,” collecting coats, sweaters and jackets for the women and children who have found refuge in Genesis Women’s Shelter would be one of their Christmas projects.
Since victims of domestic violence and abuse come in all ages and sizes, along with their children, donors will have the opportunity to purchase whatever piece of warm clothing they like for all size adult women and all age boys and girls. If you would like to contribute to the project, just drop your item by the church Monday thru Friday, asking for Laura, Scott or Jayne in the church office.
Genesis Women’s Shelter exists to provide safety, shelter and support for women who have experienced domestic violence, and to raise awareness regarding its cause, prevalence and impact.
You don’t have to be a member of Central, or any church for that matter, to be a part of the wonderful group of women who meet monthly to help make the world a better place. Call the church office for more information.