‘Where two or three are gathered, I am there’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

It’s by those words that ladies from throughout the community gather each Thursday morning at the First Baptist Church for a weekly Bible study, prayer and “all round good time.”

The two different groups are comprised of women from churches from as far away as Dozier and Laurel Hill, Fla., to as close as Andalusia and Opp. Each group meets at 9:15 a.m. – one in the FBC’s youth ministry building and the other in a classroom inside the church.

And while the two groups study different “lessons,” both come together for a common purpose – to know God.

“And it doesn’t matter if your Baptist, a Methodist, a Catholic or what – it’s non-denominational, and the whole purpose is to provide a place of fellowship and study,” said Dorenda Dozier.

Fellow group members Linda Finlin, Rachel Pridgen, Charlotte Johns, Betty Gay, Susan Castillo, Mia Wilson and Jennifer Majors – as well as others. Enrollment totals in the 45-plus range.

“I enjoy being part of a group,” said Rachel Pridgen. “When we first moved here from California, it was great to find a place where I could meet people and study the Bible.”

Linda Finlin said the groups have bonded over the years.

“All while sharing and studying God’s word together, too,” Finlin said. “The great thing about these groups is that it is truly non-denominational. Group dynamics are enhanced by a wide age range of participants. We even have three generations of one family who attends.

“The invitation to join is genuinely open to all,” she said.

The second group, or “Precept group” as it’s known, has about 45 enrollees and is an in-depth Bible study by Kay Aurthur, said member Pat Palmore.

There are seven churches represented in this group from Wing and Andalusia.

“I heard about it through a friend one day and came out the next,” said Ronica Berry.

Marsha McCara said her mother, Elaine Moody, suggested she give the group a try.

“Mother though I needed to wake up and have a reason to study the Bible, because life had thrown a lot of challenges at me,” McCara said. “By getting in here, it made me realize that I was sleeping in my Christianity. It made me understand the Bible for myself.”

Each group is open to anyone wishing to join. Classes will break at the end of May for summer and will resume in September. Nursery care is provided at no charge for infants to age 5.

On Sat., April 24, the groups will sponsor a Beth Moore simulcast at FBC from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. All ladies are invited to attend at no cost.

“It’s our privilege to bless others and He as blessed us in this ministry as we reach out to others,” Finlin said. “I hope you come.”

For more information, call FBC at 334-222-5151.