Seventy-six years ago, a group of Oklahoma City Christian women gathered in a home for a few hours of fellowship.
Little did they know that first coffee klatch would spark lifelong friendships for several generations of Christian women in Oklahoma City and change the lives of countless others.
“It’s like going to get your batteries charged,” said C.J. Judd, who has been a member for four years.
Those meetings are still going on, although the increased numbers have moved the meetings outside of members’ homes and into the Quail Creek Country Club.
And the centerpiece has become a bazaar that raises thousands of dollars for needy Oklahoma charities.
This Oct. 17 from 11a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the Christian Women of Oklahoma City will host their annual bazaar. Tickets are $20 and available only in advance by calling 405-413-0908. All proceeds go to local charities.
Tables for purchase have already been sold out for the past couple of months. Last year’s event raised nearly $3,000.
The monthly luncheons are also a source of funds for the group, which donates to four charities each year. A pass of the hat – along with the annual bazaar – raises anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 for each of those selected charities.
Each month, speakers from all walks of life bring their experiences in front of the Christian ladies on the third Wednesday of every month. Sometimes the message is humorous, other times riddled with tragedy.
But the message is always uplifting
Ronette Wallace, owner/designer at OTW Interiors, started going to the meetings a few years ago. Running a thriving business keeps her from attending every month but she makes as many as she can.
She’s never disappointed.
“I think it’s a great organization and I have a lot of good friends that attend and they love it,” Wallace said. “I think it’s not denominational, it’s just about women loving Jesus coming together, feeding off of each other, learning about each other and having relationships.
“I believe God calls us to have relationships. We can become so stagnant in saying we can only be in this group or that group and what we really need to be doing is reaching out to everybody.
Wallace and her husband run a ministry of their own – Rise Above Ministries, a non-profit that reaches those in addiction and life controlling issues.
Wallace started OTW Interiors in 2002 and focuses her talents in clients’ homes.
She routinely donates her time and talent to the bazaar.
The meetings have always been non-denominational with the focus solely on Christ.
Judd said the group has and always will be open for women looking to pour into and be poured into themselves.
“Most people walk in alone and most people don’t do that at an event because they have to have someone with them,” Judd said. “You just feel good. You find things going on in the community. It’s picked me up off the ground several times.”
Becky Grantham found the event two years ago.
“It was just perfect for me personally,” Grantham said. “It’s a nice refreshing break towards the end of the month to be able to get around like-minded people, hear the testimonies, the education and getting to meet a lot of really wonderful ladies.
Robin Gunn’s mother talked her into coming 10 years ago.
“I went to the first one and I was hooked and now I’m on the board,” she said.
The bazaar will allow people to shop for the upcoming holiday season. Baked goods, table decorations and holiday gift ideas will be on display.
All that follows lunch, fellowship and a motivational speaker, all for $20.
“They come and they leave with just good inspiration,” Judd said. “A lot of women get friendships for years. Most of them if they come once they come again. If people just knew about it, it’s a great place to come.
“It’s an unusual place. It’s not like a club. It’s a wonderful thing. I walk away with more self worth.”
Come alone and leave with lasting friendships or at least inspiration to get you through life.
I just love the fact it’s a non-judgemental, inspirational place that you can come to fellowship without any airs,” Gunn said.