Honoring moms, daughters, women

Elder Mabel Coon prays during the Mother-Daughter-Women's Luncheon, hosted by Compassionate Outreach Ministries, at the Best Western Gateway Grand in northwest Gainesville.

ELIZABETH HAMILTON/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 2:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 2:24 p.m.

Music, praise and love, along with a strong dose of wisdom, punctuated the Mother-Daughter-Women's Luncheon hosted by Compassionate Outreach Ministries.

The Rev. Geraldine McClellan, senior pastor of Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, was the keynote speaker. She emphasized the power of prayer and delivered a powerful message of love, hope, courage, understanding and redemption. She preached from 1 Samuel 1:9-18.

“It's because we pray together that we stay together,” said McClellan, who spoke about growing up with a praying mother who loved her no matter what. “God has been good to me, better than I've been to myself,” said McClellan. “I haven't been holy all my life, but I had a praying mama.”

The luncheon, which was attended by nearly 250 mothers, daughters and women, was held Saturday at the Best Western Gateway Grand. Prophetess Connie Rawls of Gainesville presided over the event, Elder Mabel Coon offered the prayer, and Vondalyn White delivered the welcome.

Gospel selections by the Compassionate Outreach Ministries Praise Ensemble included “Praise The Lord With Me,” “I Need You To Survive” and “The Lord High Above the Heavens.” Tiffanie Howell and her 4-year-old daughter Myla Davis performed a praise dance to “From Mother To Daughter.”

Shawndria Dennison, the daughter of Bishop Larry J. Dennison and First Lady Margaret Dennison, sang “Break Every Chain.”

During her sermon, McClellan read “When God Created Mothers” from a May 12, 1974 column written by Erma Bombeck, a syndicated newspaper columnist who died in 1996.

She said mothers are links to God and a child's first impression of love and God. She preached against caring so much for worldly things and forgetting what's really important.

“What does it matter if you gain the world and lose your soul?” McClellan said.

“God is calling us to make changes in our lives.”

McClellan said children bring their mothers joy and pride, but they can also bring sadness and disappointment.

“Don't give up on them,” McClellan said. “You stand by your child. Remember you haven't been perfect either.”

McClellan told mothers to teach their children to pray.

“We need to learn to talk to our children,” McClellan said. “Pray when it's sunny and when it rains. Be persistent and pray faithfully.”

“There is much power in prayer,” McClellan said “It will sustain you, There is nothing God can't heal if you pray.”

During the program's conclusion, four little girls presented pink roses to their mothers. They were: Taliyah Brown, 4, to Robin Tyson; Cania Simmons, 5, to Kawana White; Laila O'Neal, 4, to Erica Brown, and Myla Davis to Tiffanie Howell.

In her closing remarks, Margaret Dennison recognized her mother, Doris Collins, also a member of Compassionate.

“I was going to be the first lady because I had a praying mother,” said Margaret Dennison.

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