Approximately 280 Florida Baptist ministers’ wives, gathering together for a luncheon during the 2016 Florida Baptist State Convention meeting, were encouraged to find their “soul satisfaction” in Jesus.
“After you find soul satisfaction … you will walk in true freedom … begin to see other people with true compassion … glorify God … and have a more vibrant Jesus to offer,” said Kathy Litton, national director of ministry to pastors’ wives for the North American Mission Board.
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him,” she said during the Nov. 15 meeting at Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater.
Litton, who admitted that being a pastor’s wife was not on her “bucket list,” shared about the pain of losing her first husband, a pastor, in a traffic accident. The loss plunged her into darkness, she said, adding that “God did amazing things in the midst of dark, dark grief.”
Reflecting on Psalm 63, Litton said that every life has broken cisterns, such as a cistern of shattered dreams, and broken cisterns will hold no water.
Seven years after the loss of her first husband, Litton remarried, again marrying a pastor who had lost his wife in a car accident.
“I’ve got a different Jesus than I had before as a pastor’s wife,” she said, explaining that Jesus had transformed her through her grief into being the woman He wanted her to be.
During the luncheon, the Clyde Maguire Minister’s Wife Award was presented to Judy Tatem of Parkview Baptist Church in Lake City, where her husband, Mike, serves as pastor.
In accepting the award, Tatem said, “It’s an honor to live every day with the excitement Christ brings our way.”
Karen Green, wife of Tommy Green, Florida Baptist executive director-treasurer, presented this year’s award.
In numerous letters of nomination recommending Tatem for the recognition, she was described as exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, being a Proverbs 31 woman and loving people not only in the church but also in the community.
The award is named for the late Clyde Merrill Maguire, whose husband, John, served as executive secretary-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention from 1945-67. It recognizes a Florida Baptist woman who has demonstrated faithful use of her God-given gifts in support of her husband’s ministry and in her own ministry. The award was first presented in 1987.
The luncheon also featured special music by Jenifer Smith.
The annual luncheon offers ministers’ wives a “place where they can connect with other ministers’ wives, and we hope that connection will continue through the year,” said Cindy Bradley, catalyst for Florida Baptists’ women’s missions and ministries/missions education.