Women’s conference to encourage spiritual legacyby BSCNC Communications
When Esther Burroughs was 17 years old she heard Margaret Sizemore speak during a church camp she attended with her older sister. Sizemore, whose husband served as education consultant for the Oregon-Washington Baptist Convention, shared something with Burroughs that changed her life.
“She said, ‘Esther, God has something for you to do. And it’s something that no one else can do.’ I had never felt what I felt coming from this woman’s heart. There was so much joy in her teaching about Christ; she radiated,” Burroughs said. “She specifically looked into my eyes and spoke to my heart.”
That set in motion a lifetime of friendship and mentoring, as Burroughs continued learning from Sizemore.
“I came from a generation when older women imparted wisdom to younger women. It wasn’t a program; they just did it. They modeled it,” she said. “My passion is to call women my age to stand up and pour into younger women. We have life experience, and they want to know how to get there.”
Burroughs, 76, is one of the featured speakers for the “Leaving a Legacy” women’s prayer and evangelism conference hosted by Embrace Women’s Missions and Ministries of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC).
Burroughs, who serves and directs Esther Burroughs Ministries...Treasures of the Heart, previously served the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) in missions and evangelism. She has also served as campus minister at Samford University.
The Sept. 6-7 conference will be held at Ridgecrest Conference Center and focus on Psalm 78:4, which encourages believers to tell of God’s great work from one generation to the next.
“We chose this theme because women need to realize, and often they don’t, that their lives have impact and they can impact other lives. Scripture is clear that we are to leave a godly legacy. We’re called to leave a legacy of faith,” said Ashley Allen, Embrace director.
Allen shared that throughout her life, especially in college, God provided women to come alongside her and show her what it means to be devoted to leaving a legacy and investing in others.
“There were so many women who faithfully invested in me and taught me the things of God – how to pray, study Scripture and rely upon the Lord in both good and bad times,” she said. “Some had a college education and some did not; but they were faithful. They impacted my life greatly, and have in turn impacted those I minister to.”
Merrie Johnson, BSCNC student evangelism consultant, will join Burroughs and Allen as one of the featured speakers. Johnson has worked with youth for 27 years and leads the summer Youth Weeks at the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell. Youth Weeks draws nearly 7,000 middle and high school students each year.
Each of the plenary speakers is different in age and stage of life, helping women realize that no matter their stage in life, they are called to leave a legacy.
“We want women to understand that everyone, whether or not they are married, single or have children, is called to leave a legacy. We often think of it in terms of the family legacy. But it goes beyond the family; it’s the greater community of faith,” Allen said. “God wants us to leave a legacy where we are.”
Break out sessions will focus on topics such as prayer, spiritual mothering, evangelism from the home, the heritage of truth, and helping children avoid the pitfalls of life. A complete list of topics and speakers is available at www.ncbaptist.org/wpec.
Pam Blume, member of the conference planning team and wife of Biblical Recorder editor Allan Blume, will lead a session on recording a spiritual legacy. Blume will teach women practical ways to record their spiritual legacy, such as tying it in with their family tree.
Years ago when Blume helped her son with a fifth grade project related to their family tree, they learned not only about their heritage, but about the spiritual leaders in their family who had gone before them. From then on, recording their spiritual legacy became a “lifelong thing for us,” Blume said.
Blume encouraged women to attend the conference for an opportunity to learn from and be inspired by women of influence, such as Burroughs.
“When you think of legacy, you think Esther Burroughs. She is such an encouragement to women in any stage of life,” Blume said.
Blume challenged women to be intentional in reaching out to others, from their children to their peers to other women, and begin influencing them for Christ.
“You have your own sphere of influence,” she said. “God has you here for a purpose and He wants to use you.”
The conference begins at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, with early bird break out sessions at 3 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.
To register, call Ridgecrest at (800) 588-7222 or register online.