More than a dozen lamps trimmed in bronze and embellished in frills bathed the high-ceilinged banquet room in a warm, golden glow. With heavy satin drapes cascading from the top of tall windows and with a pale blue carpet softening the sounds in the room, it could have been a parlor in a 19th century socialite home.
It was, instead, the setting for the recent Widows’ Might Conference and lessons from speaker Susie Hawkins on leaving a spiritual legacy—a legacy with much further reaching impact than that of vintage décor.
First Lady Dorothy Patterson welcomed the women to the Sept. 10 event and said leaving a legacy, which was the conference theme, has always been dear to her.
“The matter of leaving a legacy is something that I have absolutely loved my whole life,” Patterson said.
The president’s wife said her father taught her about leaving a legacy as she grew up and that she is currently working to put together albums highlighting events, just like the Widows’ Might Conference, to share Southwestern’s legacy with generations to come.
Susie Hawkins, author and wife of GuideStone Financial Resources president O.S. Hawkins, spoke to the group of almost 60 before and after lunch, discussing women who have left a legacy and how to build a spiritual legacy based on the lives of Lois, Eunice and Timothy. Hawkins spoke of women who have left legacies for generation after generation through their devotional writings and said though many of the women lived in a life far removed from present day, the transcendence of their writings makes them applicable yet today. Christian women, she said, have always sought to find meaning in their everyday life.
Those attending said they enjoyed hearing from Hawkins and found the legacy left by women devotional writers to be captivating.
“When she was talking I was thinking, ‘How can you take authors and make it so interesting?’” said Shirley Watson of Tyler, Texas.
Watson said the ministry of Widows’ Might has been a help to her as she continues on in life without her husband.
“I think it inspires widows that their life can go on and be useful,” Watson said.
Karen Parker of Athens, Texas agreed.
“I think it is a very good encouragement to the widows,” she said.
Women’s Auxillary Coordinator Karen Collett said she thought the conference, which was held in the Williamsburg Banquet Room in the Naylor Student Center, went well and was well-received by the women attending.
“It’s fantastic,” she said. “We have new faces; the ladies brought friends. The women are enjoying Susie.”
After lunch, attendees enjoyed music from Judy Moore and Gil Pitts, a second session with Hawkins and a prayer time. For many in attendance, Widows’ Might is both a way to leave a legacy by partnering in ministry with the seminary and to fellowship with other widows and believers.
Barbara Wade of Hurst, Texas said Collett invited her to the conference and she is very glad she did.
“When Karen called me, it was such a blessing,” Wade said. “I came to the widow’s luncheon and it certainly ministered to me and blessed me immensely.”