Nearly 150 Kentucky Baptist pastors’ wives gathered for teaching, fellowship and encouragement during Radiant, a retreat sponsored by Kentucky Baptist Convention and hosted by Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort.
Donna Gaines, a Bible teacher, author, nonprofit founder and pastor’s wife, encouraged ministry wives to live in light of the love of the Lord, fight anxiety with gratitude, renew their minds by the word of God and pattern their lives on Scripture.
“We know that the Lord said through Jeremiah, ‘I will refresh the weary and satisfy the weak,’” said Gaines, referencing Jeremiah 31:25. “So we turn to the Lord for wisdom and grace.”
Each teaching session featured a time of worship through song and opportunities to pray for one another.
Brittany McConnell, whose husband is pastor of First Baptist Church Taylorsville, said she appreciated being “poured into” and spending time around fellow believers.
“If I had to pick one thing that the Lord kept bringing back to mind to be radiant for Him, [it] was the importance of being in relationship with Him through the power of His word and just having a thankful spirit that, again, is borne out of being in His Word,” McConnell said. “It just was nice to be refreshed with the reminder of being renewed in the Word and being around other pastor’s wives that just really encouraged and pushed one another on.”
“It was just a really sweet time of fellowship to be around women that have the same heartbeat and desire to serve their husbands in the local church to the glory of God,” added Rebekah Murphy, whose husband is next generation pastor at Central Baptist Church Winchester. “I feel filled up so that now I can go back and pour out on others for the glory of God.”
Breakout sessions covered discipleship, spiritual disciplines, raising missional families, connecting the local church to foster care and adoption, finding a personal ministry niche and spiritual care.
Many women said the most impactful part of the retreat was relationships developed and a regional fellowship during which women connected with pastors’ wives from nearby communities.
“One thing I’ve loved about this event is just getting to know other pastors’ wives,” said Jessica Bunce, whose husband is senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church Auburn. “It’s been a blessing.”
Maura Landrum, whose husband is worship arts, media & communication pastor at Unity Baptist Church Ashland, agreed.
“I was able to connect with other pastors’ wives in my area and meet some new people and feel like I had some connection here in my community with other pastors’ wives,” Landrum said. “I also felt like I was able to see that I wasn’t alone, that there’s other pastors’ wives who are going through some of the same things that I have.”
‘Pep rally for pastor’s wives’
Sara Robinson, women’s ministry and transition consultant for KBC, said ministry wives play a significant role in the life of Kentucky Baptist churches.
“At KBC we always say we’re by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ,” Robinson said. “And this event I always thought of as by ministers’ wives, for ministers’ wives, to help ministers’ wives reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.”
Dawn Reed, a breakout speaker and wife of an eastern Kentucky pastor, agreed: “I think it’s been like a pep rally for pastors’ wives.”