Upper Room hosts women's conference

Berdoll O'Neal sings with the choir during the Greater Gainesville District Church of God in Christ Women's Conference at Upper Room Church of God in Christ in northeast Gainesville.

LEE FERINDEN/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 1:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 1:51 p.m.

Parishioners attending the last night of the 2013 Greater Gainesville District Church of God in Christ Women's Conference placed their bills and wallets in front of the pulpit as the minister assured them that God will provide for them if they are willing to sacrifice.



Pastors: Senior co-Pastors Karl Anderson and Shepherdess Pearlie Shelton.
Location: 3575 NE 15th St.
Services: Sunday morning prayer is 9:45 a.m., followed by Super Sunday School at 10 a.m. and morning worship at 11 a.m. Prayer meeting is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by Bible study at 7 p.m. Breakfast is served at 9 a.m. every second and fourth Sunday.
Phone: 352-264-0006.

The conference was held last Wednesday through Friday at Upper Room Church of God in Christ at 3575 NE 15th St., with Superintendent Karl "The Rev." Anderson, senior co-pastor at the church, delivering the message on Friday.

Prophetess Janice Phillips of Latter Rain Ministries in Jackson, Tenn., preached on Wednesday and Evangelist/Missionary Cynthia Robinson of Jacksonville preached on Thursday. The theme of the conference was "There Will Be Glory After This."

Anderson preached from Mark 5:25-34, which deals with the woman with the issue of blood pressing her way through a crowd to touch the hem of the garment of Jesus Christ so she could be healed. Anderson said the woman had faith in the Lord similar to the faith parishioners attending the service had in believing that they were going to be blessed.

He also said that like the woman in the scripture, the ace in the hole for parishioners attending Friday's service was that they simply "showed up," expecting a blessing.

"You said in your mind, ‘I'm going to give the Lord a try,' and by saying that, you showed your faith," said Anderson, as he preached and danced on a pile of bills parishioners placed on the floor with the faith that God will bless them with the money to pay off the bills.

The service began with intercessory prayer led by Evangelist Patricia Lundy and Missionary Connie Smith. They set the atmosphere by praying while walking around the sanctuary lifting up the name of God.

Pastor Marilyn Green of Archer Church of God in Christ presided over the service and the Greater Gainesville District COGIC Praise Team led praise and worship.

"Oh what a mighty God we serve on tonight," said Green, before singing "This is the Day."

Stephen Holden, pastor of Lion of Judah Church of God in Christ in Gainesville, led the praise team during praise and worship, which began with him asking parishioners to stand and praise God.

"Somebody didn't wake up this morning, but he allowed us to gather here tonight," Holden said. "That's enough right there for us to praise God."

Danielle Green of Archer COGIC introduced Shepherdess Pearlie Shelton, senior co-pastor at Upper Room and missionary of the Greater Gainesville District COGIC. Green said Shelton is a "dignified woman" who handles herself with grace and class.

"She is very soft spoken and powerful at the same time," Green said.

Shelton spoke briefly, informing parishioners that "any day above ground is a good day." She talked about waking up Friday morning and hearing on the news that a man in Seffner near Tampa went to sleep in his bed and died after his entire bedroom and its contents fell 100 feet deep into a sinkhole.

"If it wasn't for the Lord being on our side, we wouldn't be here tonight," Shelton said.

The service ended with Anderson, who was introduced by two of his daughters, Bridget and Cari Anderson, telling parishioners not to be afraid of making sacrifices to the Lord.

"The scripture says your faith will make you whole," Anderson said. "The point of the lesson here is that because of her (the woman with the issue of blood) sacrifice, he was on his way to your house, but because of her sacrifice, he stopped by her house and healed her. Don't be afraid to sacrifice unto the Lord."

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