Pouring on the hospitality: Second Baptist Church’s Women’s Tea a toast to leadership

Debbie Combs, left, leader of Second Baptist Church’s Women’s Ministry, and Roxanne Stallworth, one of the event chairs, stand in Second Baptist Church’s fellowship hall, which is the site of their women’s ministry’s annual Women’s Tea Oct. 7

Brian Blair | The Republic

They not only drink to bold, strong women, their gatherings become one of the very tools for shaping bold, strong females.

So say the attendees of Second Baptist Church’s Annual Women’s Tea, an event quenching Christian women’s thirst for delicious drinks and strong faith. This year’s planned event from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 7 includes the theme “Making Your Faith Stronger Than Your Fear.” Felicia Garr of the Community Education Coalition will be the keynote speaker.

Tickets are $16 and available from church members and by email at [email protected].

Roxanne Stallworth, Cathy Phillips, and Jasmine Stallworth-Allen are chairing the event.

“My dream this year,” Phillips said, “is to see a diverse audience at the tea.”

Stallworth sees the event, featuring food and a variety of perhaps as many as 10 different teas, as one for evangelism and more.

“The tea is just one mechanism which we use to be able to spread God’s word,” Stallworth said. “And it’s what we also use to develop some of our women into the leaders they are today. We grow leaders for Christ.”

As Stallworth spoke, she looked at her friend Debbie Combs, who leads the church’s women’s ministry.

“The Debbie that you’re looking at today is not what you would have seen 10 years ago or 15 years ago,” Stallworth said. “You know, she’s far more developed and far more skilled now in God’s word and the journey that he has for her.”

Combs agreed.

“And that growth comes from a lot of the minutes from here at church for the spiritual part,” Combs said. “But what also brings growth into my life is working as the chair of the women’s ministry and also the kitchen here.”

The women’s ministry also heavily emphasizes hospitality.

“We have to treat all people with loving kindness,” Stallworth said. “Yes, we try and treat all people with kindness and with love, because that’s what Jesus did for us.”

Stallworth and Combs mentioned that female empowerment and leadership is especially important at Second Baptist, where only recently has a dwindling attendance been halted with several new members. The previous attendance drop has included the loss of many male members over the past few years, leaving women to step up and fill more leadership roles than usual.

Stallworth-Allen sees the tea as a good beginning for helping Christian women in general mature.

“We believe that the Women’s Tea will provide attendees with a unique opportunity for personal growth, empowerment, and community-building,” she said.

Stallworth pointed out that some attendees see the gathering as a somewhat festive affair.

“It is a lovely time,” Stallworth said. “Some women dress up in hats and pearls and gloves, and some women look for a new dress. I mean, it’s all what you want to make it.”

About the event

What: Second Baptist Church’s Annual Women’s Tea, catered by Out of the Ordinary.

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 7.

Where: Second Baptist Church, 1325 10th St., Columbus.

Tickets: $16, availabe by calling event committee member Jasmine Stallworth-Allen at [email protected].