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Widows Ministry Center Celebrates
With Two-Day Special Event

The weekend of September 26th and 27th marked a special day in the International Church of God. A special two-day event was held to celebrate the official dedication of the new Iris B. Vest Widows Ministry Center. Months of preparation had gone into coordinating all aspects of the event.

Beginning with a musical celebration Friday evening, September 26, hosted at the New Hope Church of God in Sevierville, Tennessee, hundreds of guests from the local community, the general Church leadership and special friends from across the country attended that evening.

Danny Murray, acting as the event’s host, started off the celebration with some good old fashion praise and worship. Trumpeter extraordinaire Phil Driscoll and the Voices of Lee thrilled those who packed the New Hope Church of God with their exciting and energizing music. At one point in the program, residents of the Widows Center joined the musicians on stage to sing a special favorite, Thank You for Giving to the Lord.

On Saturday, a beautiful brunch was held and special guests were invited to pay tribute to the memory of Iris B. Vest. General Overseer Lamar Vest and his children were honored guests for this event. Dr. Mary Ruth Stone addressed the crowd and shared memories of Iris and spoke of the fragrance left in a life lived in ministry. A video was shown which captured special moments in the life of Iris for her friends and family. A beautifully painted portrait of Iris was unveiled to the crowd. The portrait, which would hang in the Widows Center, is a gift from the International Department of Women’s Ministries and State Women’s Ministries Presidents. Nancy Tarpley-Jones, who did the unveiling, was commissioned by Sister Stone to do the portrait.

John Gregory, President of the Lazarus Foundation spoke on the miracle of the Center and obedience to God’s word as it relates to providing for widows.

During the dedication ceremony, guests sat under a tent and listed raptly to comments from John Nichols, Gene Rice, T. L. Lowery, and Dr. Vest. The widows living in the Widows Ministry Center were recognized at this time. Gene Rice led the assembly in the reading of the litany. Reverend John Morgan, Reverend Donnie Jester, Reverend Bill Leonard, and Reverend Paul Henson provided music during both of these events.

The sun shined brightly and there was much celebration. There was a great awe as we took the time to consider the miracle of the Iris B. Vest Widows Ministry Center.


It's A Wonderful Day, by John Gregory

A Tribute To Iris Vest, by Mary Ruth Stone

Event Photo Gallery




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