LUTZ—Beautifully decorated tables and a gift bag in every seat greeted almost 300 Florida Baptist ministers’ wives as they arrived for the annual ministers’ wives luncheon held at Idlewild Baptist Church, Tuesday, Nov. 14.
Effective ministry is a priceless ministry spent for others.
Highlights of the luncheon with the theme Don’t Lose Heart, included praise and worship, the presentation of the Clyde M. Maguire Award for Ministers’ Wives, and a message from Katrina Sellers. Sellers is a high school English teacher, president of the Florida Baptist Women’s Missions and Ministry/Mission Education (WMM/ME), and pastor’s wife serving alongside her husband at First Baptist Church Floral City.
Cindy Bradley, catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention’s WMM/ME, introduced Karen Green, wife of Tommy Green, Florida Baptists’ executive director-treasurer, who presented the Maguire Award and noted her appreciation for the annual luncheon.
“This is an event that I look forward to every year,” said Green. “Gathering together, making a new friend, exchanging a phone number. … we all need someone we can depend on.”
This award, named in honor of the late Clyde Maguire whose husband John served as executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention from 1945-67, is given annually to a Florida Baptist minister’s wife who has faithfully served the local church and served alongside her husband’s ministry in exemplary ways.
Green presented the 2023 Clyde M. Maguire Award to Kelly Carr, whose husband, Calvin, is lead pastor at North Central Baptist Church in Gainesville. After Green recognized Carr as “so deserving of this award” and read letters from those who nominated Carr, she was recognized for her “faithful service, spiritual investment in others, authenticity, gentle and quiet spirit, and living a life exemplary to Jesus to all those around her.” Honoring Carr as she received the award were her mother and husband, who presented Carr with flowers.
During the luncheon, Bradley also announced a new initiative designed specifically for ministers’ wives. This new Regional Pastors’ Wives Support Network was designed “in an effort to continue being ‘right beside’ local churches and pastors’ families.” The Southwest region will be the first region to launch this fall, and it is expected that other regions will launch across the Sunshine State in 2024.
Using humor and rhetorical questions, Sellers called the women to not lose heart in their service alongside their husbands and the local church. Recognizing that “service is not glamorous most days,” she called on women to view their service and ministry to the Lord as “priceless.”
Walking through 2 Corinthians 4:1-12, Sellers asked those in attendance to ponder the question—”Do you believe that God is up to something good, priceless and eternal in your life?” Continuing to walk through the passage, Sellers urged women to rely on God’s mercy (v. 1), let their light shine to others they serve (v. 6), let God’s power live through them (v. 7) and die to self (v. 12).
“You must put to death everything in you that is keeping you from serving well and pointing people to look more like Jesus,” she said. “Because we serve in this ministry and have mercy, don’t lose heart and don’t give up.”
Sellers added that ministers’ wives need to be spent out for those they’re called to serve. “Our job is to spend our lives for people we’re called to serve as pastor’s wives. … Effective ministry is a priceless ministry spent for others,” she said.
After being served lunch and pampered by members of Idlewild Baptist Church, wives were encouraged to continue with endurance.
“Our task is too great to quit and give up on,” Sellers said. “The calling isn’t worth quitting on, continue to shine bright and be a reflection of His glory.”
The 2024 ministers’ wives luncheon is slated to take place Tuesday, Nov. 12, at First Baptist Church Orlando.
Photos by Michael Duncan.