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Rev. Deborah Morgan Stokes

Reverend Deborah Morgan Stokes, Senior Pastor of East Dallas Christian Church, was guest speaker at the September meeting of Disciples Women’s Ministry at Central Christian Church.

Deborah presented the story of the biblical character, Lydia, and how she became a successful business woman by extracting the color purple and selling it to wealthy clients. Today, purple is still the color associated with royalty and kings.

The economic power that Lydia enjoyed was a rarity during her time. Extracting the dye was laborious and time-consuming, creating a very busy lifestyle for Lydia, but still she managed to take time away from the busyness of her life to worship God and transform her household.  

Deborah illustrated through Lydia’s story, how women today are programmed by busy schedules, their lives dictated by what must be done—often leaving no time for their spiritual life and family.

Her brilliant presentation was an inspiration for career women, soccer moms, grandmas and everyone else who needs to slow down, breathe and smell the roses in this wonderful world God has given us.   

Following the program, the women dined in Central’s fellowship hall enjoying a “Back to School” menu of Sloppy Joe Sliders, tossed salad, apple crisp and Rosemary Davenport’s “most requested” Caramel Apple Cake.  Recipe follows.

If you would like to attend next months meeting as a guest of Central Christian Church, email for details.


Caramel Apple Sheet Cake with Fresh Apple 


2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

1 cup water

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 medium apple, diced small (about 1 1/4 cups)

For the Icing

3 tablespoons milk

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons caramel topping* 

*Use caramel topping, not syrup.  Trader Joe’s caramel sauce worked well.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream and eggs. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry. Fold in the diced apples. Gradually stir in the warm melted butter and mix well.

Pour batter evenly into the prepared pan (batter will be loose.) Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 25-27 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when touched. Let cool for 20 minutes.

Make the icing by combining the butter and milk in a medium microwave safe bowl; microwave for 45 seconds, and then in 15 second intervals until butter is melted. Whisk to combine. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and caramel topping; whisk to combine.

Pour icing over the cake while it’s cooled, but still slightly warm. Allow to set for about 15 minutes.

Slice into squares and enjoy!

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