Harlan County Christian Women annual retreat set for Oct. 21

Published 10:59 am Thursday, October 5, 2023

News Release

All women are invited to the Harlan County Christian Women’s annual retreat and conference on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, at First Baptist Church in Loyall, which is located at 103 Wilkerson St.

The conference is free of charge for all participants, and lunch will also be provided.

Registration and a continental breakfast begin at 8 a.m., while the program will run from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

This year’s theme is Romans 12:2: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

The speakers will be Rachel Wheeler and Mary Jo Shoemaker.

Wheeler is married to Chris Wheeler, pastor of Loyall Church of Christ. She is the mother of two children: Landon and Lily. Wheeler has begun her second year teaching language arts at Black Mountain Elementary School.

Shoemaker is married to Pastor Russell Shoemaker of Friendship Baptist Church and is the mother of three children: Lauren, Jenna and Jacob. She is a 17-year veteran school teacher, and she teaches at Black Mountain Elementary. She is a member of her praise and worship team and VBS director. Shoemaker formerly served as tween Sunday school teacher and partnered with her husband to teach couples Sunday school.

Common Ground will again lead praise and worship for the event. The group was formed in 2013 specifically for the conference, and, it is unique in that it includes women from different churches across the county.

The interdenominational Harlan County Christian Women’s Conference was started in 2002 after the tragedy of 9/11 by a group of women who felt the need to reach out to women from all over the county, from all walks of life, and from every circumstance.

The first conference was held at the Benham Inn in the fall of 2002, and an out-of-town speaker and praise team were brought in. Since then, it has taken many forms, being held in different locations throughout Harlan County with outside and local speakers, outside and local praise teams, and even live-event simulcasts.

The conference’s steering committee wishes to thank local churches, businesses, other organizations and individuals who have generously gifted to make this event free of charge for the first time (including covering breakfast, lunch, materials, gift bags, music/sound, door prizes, etc.)

If any church or organization wishes to donate, please send it to HCCW, c/o Patsy Harmon, 121 Walnut Loop, Harlan, Ky. 40831, or contact Londa Roark (606) 671-1569 with questions.