Student Bible Study Group Brings Internationally known Women’s Speaker to Region

Posted on November 9th, 2017 by Danielle Staub

A small group of girls in a Bible study at Averett University had a big dream. After studying, “I Choose the Sky,” by Emily Wilson, the group of around 10 decided they wanted to reach out to Wilson, an internationally known faith speaker, author and musician, and see if she would talk with them.

“We didn’t think we actually had a chance at her answering us and doing that, but figured we might as well ask!” said Lindsey Fulcher, senior at Averett University and member of the Bible study group. “She made an effort to hear each of our names and talk about the book and how we were liking it. It really connected us with her and let us see how much impact this kind of fellowship can have on our friend’s lives, as well as our own.”

“I was so grateful that she took the time out of her day to Facetime with some girls in a little town in Southern Virginia. All the girls were just as thankful as we were, but the thing that was the most powerful was we all got to pray with her, which was awesome,” said Frances Carlton, a sophomore at Averett and member of the group.

The girls then decided they wanted to take it one step further and ask Wilson to come speak to their community of women in Danville, Va., and she agreed.

“We knew this would open up an opportunity for women all over Danville to hear Emily speak and that we had the power to make it happen” Fulcher said.

Then Carlton and Fulcher started planning with the help of Spiritual Life team and the University’s Chaplain Skyler Daniel. Together, they organized a Women’s Seminar titled, “In God’s Image” for the Averett and surrounding communities, which brought in around 75 women.

“Emily has had a major impact on my life because one, she came and did this conference which was an idea I didn’t think would come true, but she also has made me more proud of my faith,” said Carlton. “She has given me the courage to say ‘no’ to parties and doing things that I don’t believe in. Yes, people will judge me for it, but I am living my life the way I feel best shows God’s light and that’s what I am going to keep doing.”

During the seminar, Wilson spoke to the crowd of women at neighboring West Main Baptist Church, where the event was held, about their identity as a child of God. She explained that, “I’m not here to tell you what to do but share in the beauty of womanhood.” In her 45-minute talk, Wilson said that as women, we limit our identity in three ways; pursuing perfection, lack of true community and sisterhood, and fear of total surrender to Jesus – a lack of total surrender to Christ.

“For me, it was so great to see people from our community there in fellowship with one another. Women opened up to each other and were able to hear an encouraging word from Emily. Emily made me realize that we can truly have an impact on the people around us just by doing what we feel is right and being kind,” Fulcher said.

Wilson herself praised Averett University’s Spiritual Life team for the amount of love she could tell was put into this event to make it happen.

“I take my ministry one heart at a time,” Wilson said. “I see the woman standing right in front of me. Every heart matters and every event is an honor and a huge responsibility.”

The Spiritual Life team and students hope to put events like this on every fall to help grow the community for women of faith.

“Let go of what other people think. That has to be the first step,” said Wilson as an encouragement to the women. “You cannot live your life if you’re holding onto that. Find your courage in the Lord. The Lord instills that courage. You have to depend on the Lord for that courage, it does not come from ourselves. God gives you the grace and the fortitude to do that.”