The Girlfriends: ‘Changing hearts, changing lives … one girlfriend at a time’

A women’s ministry and the bonds that stitch them together

These are just a few of The Girlfriends, a non-denominational women’s ministry group that gathers to sew receiving blankets, bibs, quilts, snap clutch bags and other projects that are part of their ministry. From left, are: Connie Taylor, Janet Duncan, Sandra Nolker, Nancy Rowan, Gina Davis, Ruby Cobb, Terri Derstler and Vicky Edwards. (Photo by Liz Johnson/Richmond News)

By Liz Johnson, Staff Writer – Living 50-Plus

They started out as the Bobbin Babes, a group of women who love Jesus and like to sew, and want to be around other women and make new friends.

In just seven years, the Bobbin Babes have evolved into The Girlfriends and a full-blown ministry to help women in need.

And sewing is at the heart of that ministry.

Turning a vision to reality

Janet Duncan was the first to envision creating a new ministry.

“I had a vision to get outside of the church,” Duncan said. “I felt as if it should be a women’s ministry.”

But that was as far as Duncan’s idea progressed until she attended a WMU District meeting (Woman’s Missionary Union retreat). While at the retreat, Duncan saw a big display at the front of the room that said “Girlfriends” in large letters.

“And I couldn’t get my eyes off of it,” she said. “I couldn’t listen to the speaker. I just felt God was telling me to pay attention (to the display) and find out about that.”

Duncan followed her heart and talked with the women manning the display between every break at the retreat.

“I was getting real excited about it,” she said. The Girlfriends was a ministry for women of all ages who get together for spiritual growth and community.

After the retreat, Duncan returned to her church and told her pastor about the group.

“He thought it was a great idea,” she said. The next step was to get the idea off the ground.

Duncan heard about a women’s group that had just started up at Lawson Baptist Church and was intrigued enough to find out what the women’s group was doing.

“So, we decided to get as many women together as we could and go up there (to Lawson Baptist) in the church van,” Duncan said. “We liked what we saw.”

Duncan put a notice in her church bulletin that she was organizing a women’s ministry, and The Girlfriends idea began to grow.

The complete story is in the Friday, July 21, 2017 Richmond News.

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