Since 2005, Southwestern’s Dressed for Service ministry has provided more than 800 women, both graduating female students and wives of graduating students, with a new outfit appropriate for interviews, church services, and other special events. For all the recipients, the ministry is a blessing for their next steps in ministry, and it also connects them to a network of women who care for and support them through prayer and godly wisdom.

This spring, 46 women from Fort Worth and seven women from Southwestern’s Havard campus in Houston participated in Dressed for Service. After their designated shopping days, each woman left with a new outfit made possible by the generous donations of Women’s Auxiliary partners. Many other ministry partners contributed to the ministry. Andy Horner and Tim Horner of Premier Designs donated jewelry; the women’s Sunday School class from First Baptist Church of Dennis, Texas, gifted handcrafted aprons; and lipstick was provided courtesy of Dr. And Mrs. Richard Knight.

During the annual Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon, April 12, eight of these women participated in a style show that highlighted each of their new outfits. For the luncheon, Southwestern welcomed more than 300 women to campus to witness the show and to fellowship over tea, sandwiches and scones. They also enjoyed a special musical performance from T. Bob Davis on piano and received a word of encouragement from special guest Rose-Mary Rumbley, author and former professor at Dallas Baptist University.

In addition to a fully accessorized outfit, Dressed for Service participants benefit from the time spent with mentors who assist in the shopping process, offer godly advice, and commit to pray for them. Kimberly Hobbs, whose husband will graduate in May 2017 with his bachelor of arts degree, says she enjoyed the time spent with her mentor, who extended encouragement and support for her new season of life.

“The most important thing that I walked away with was the encouragement that I received,” Hobbs says. “There will be hard times in ministry, that is a given, but to know that you have a woman of God praying for you even when she may not know the exact situation makes the entire day invaluable.”

Hobbs adds that she is encouraged by the many women who make this possible by sacrificially giving of their time, money and resources. “To take one full day away and to have women pour into me, minister to me, encourage me, pray for me, and love on me was a blessing beyond anything I could ever tell you,” she says.

Joy Arulogun, who will graduate in May 2017 with a Master of Divinity in missions,Anchor says she valued the quality time spent with her mentor as well as the other women who participated in the special day. “This ministry has made my graduation a big celebration,” Arulogun says. “These ministry gifts are great blessings for me; now I have a new outfit to celebrate my graduation!”

“Southwestern has impacted me for life in every way that I can never forget,” Arulogun says. “They are my new family in Christ and have been my support financially and spiritually, and they are forming godly character in me through sound theological training for ministry.”