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Warmth Of Sankofa By Mae Catherine Godhigh – HAT-e-bration 2015

There is nothing ordinary about Peoria’s Annual HAT-e-bration. For the last 3 years “hat enthusiastic folk” gather at the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ to view the latest and the greatest of hat coiffure, delightful dining, a brief instruction on hat history and etiquette, on site vendors and an upbeat and classy style show. And, Saturday, May 17, 2015 was no different.

Each year area women are nominated and celebrated for their leadership roles in church and community.

I am pleased to share with you the following 2015 honorees.

Co-Pastor Nell Washington currently serves in the duo capacity of Co-Pastor and First Lady of New Freedom True Holiness Ministries in Peoria.

Nominator Britnay Washington writes, “Pastor Nell is the epitome of a true woman of God. She is a faithful and loving wife to Bishop Charles Washington, Sr. Nell is known throughout the country for “the voice” God has blessed her with to bless others. She is a prayer warrior and a great leader on the inside and outside of the church. She doesn’t complain about what need to be done in the ministry and is not afraid to get her hands dirty in the ministry. She is truly an anointed and amazing psalmist that is not afraid to share her gift with the world. Highlight Her life speaks for her. The grace she shows and the love she pours into others. She is not afraid to stand still and firm on the word of God.”

Paris McConnell currently serves in the capacity of First Lady at New Cornerstone Baptist Church in Peoria.

Nominator Kecia Randle, writes “Lady Paris McConnell exemplifies Proverbs 31:28 that her children (Moses, Caleb & Matthew) arise up call her blessed. She is married (Pastor Mark) and is a symbol of strength to him, church and community.

Paris demonstrates her love and is a passionate help meet to her husband God’s word confirms her presence in Genesis 2:18. Paris’ resilience to take care of the family reveals the heart of her ministry. Her service to her family is mirrored through her compassion to meet the needs of the Body of Christ. Paris has a servant’s heart. Her enthusiasm to encourage and engage youth through the Young Engineers Program is at the center of her passions.”

Dorothy Randle currently serves in the capacity of First Lady at Higher Dimension Praise & Worship Church in Peoria. Nominator Vera Smith writes, “Lady Dorothy Randle is a wife, mother, grandmother, mother of the church and lover of God’s word. She is blessed and gifted in so many ways. She is passionate about taking care of her family and serving in ministry with her husband. She is a wife of noble character. Her husband (Pastor R.W. Randle) has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life.

Dorothy is a woman who loves and fears the Lord. She honors biblical truth and freely demonstrates her love in her giving and sharing of her time and resources. She can be found working in the music ministry, besides helping her husband run the business, loving and caring for her children and always making time to love on the members of Higher Dimension Praise and Worship Church. She has an infectious smile that warms every heart and she can always be found serving others.”

Pastor Elaine Gordon currently serves in the capacity of pastor at Ward Chapel AME Church in Peoria. Nominator Georgia Little writes, “Pastor Elaine is a woman of love, integrity and grace. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.  She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. God has blessed her in so many ways! To know her is absolutely love her. She has a heart for the people of God that is so inspiring.

Serving as a pastor can often be a thankless job. A pastor is constantly putting the needs of others before self. By the grace of God Pastor Elaine takes care of her husband, the needs of her family, the needs of the church and community without hesitation. She has a beautiful sense of humor and can often be found uplifting others. When she walks into a room it seems as if everything lights up. This award is a perfect opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude for being blessed with such a wonderful sister in marriage and in Christ.

Pastor Gordon is a true inspiration. She is the first female pastor of Ward Chapel AME Church’s 166 year history. She is actively involved in her church and community serving on multiple boards including the NAACP, Tri County Urban League, and Center for Prevention of Abuse, Peoria Substance Abuse Coalition, Trainer for National African American Tobacco Education Network (NAATEN) and a member of Nu Pi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She freely shares her gifts and talents with others to positively impact change for the kingdom of God.”

Evangelist Maxine Thompson currently serves on the ministerial staff at the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ, Inc. She was nominated by The PCJC Women’s Dept. “Maxine embodies the modern-day Proverbs 31 woman through demonstrating biblical principles of love, submission and obedience to the word of God. Highlight She is a wonderful living example of what a true servant is. Through her hands, love for others, and sensitivity to the fulfillment of God’s word.

Highlight Maxine’s passion is helping others. She has been known to cater meals fit for royals out of her own kitchen. Maxine transports local youth to work and church. She’s still manages to volunteer and support local educational programs. Maxine is a strong proponent of mentoring and empowering others especially women to reach their fullest potential using their God-given gifts and talents to impact the world for better.”

The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ, Inc. continues to bridge the gap between church, community, racial and combinational barriers.