More than 25 years ago, Rev. Dr. Margaret Elaine Flake witnessed Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryants first Women's Conference "Let A New Women Rise". Inspired by this visionary leader, in 1983, Rev. Elaine gave birth to Power of Woman. The Greater Allen Cathedrals first Women's Ministry Season.
Starting with a core group of women from the Women's Missionary Society, the ministry's purpose was to raise funds for the church and the newly formed Allen Christian School, but also to minister to the needs of God’s women.
In January, of 1983, the ministry sponsored such programs as Family Day, Health Fair, Weight-a-Thon, a concert featuring television star Theresa Merritt and our first Pamper Day, featuring Hairstyling at Allen with nationally known stylist, John Atchison. The Power of Woman conference was held in November with our own Cecelia Williams Bryant delivering the closing message.
As the Women and The Power of the Spirit continued to take form, in 1985, the 1st Candlelight Dinner was held with dynamic guest speaker, Susan Taylor.
From 1986 through 1989, The Glory of Gods Presence prevailed as the women of Allen went from Brokenness to Wholeness, in their Pursuit of Holiness. Outpourings of Gods Perfect Will permeated the revivals, and worship services as the word was delivered by powerful women of God like the Reverends Cecelia Bryant, JoAnn Browning, Brenda Little, Jessica Ingram, Renita Weems, Barbara King, Dr. Patricia Russell McCloud and many others.
The nineties captured the move of God and the women were excited about the healing, deliverance and salvation experienced through inspirational seasonal themes; Living on Higher Ground, God in Her Midst, Our God Reigns, Power of Woman, Woman Thou Art Loosed, A Woman After Gods Own Heart, Chosen Vessel, Standing in Gods Presence, In the Image of God, and The Power of the Anointing.
Supervising Chairpersons were assigned to manage a series of special events, including annual prayer breakfasts, luncheons and worship services, which over the years featured guest preachers such as Reverends Millicent Hunter, Iona Locke, Ernestine Reems and guest artists Yolanda Adams, Vickie Winans and others.
With the emphasis on self-improvement, sisterhood and spiritual development, programs like All Night Prayer, Sister-to-Sister and Pamper Day give us the opportunity to reinforce our nurturing and caring for self and each other.
Realizing that the women’s health initiatives are vitally important to the Spirit-Led Woman, Rev. Elaine wanted to make a difference in the lives of women who suffer from one of the top killing diseases of African-American women Breast Cancer. What better way to reach the masses of women who are or will be affected by the disease, than with a monetary contribution toward research and development. Thus, the Cancer Walk-a-Thon was created. Throughout the course of two-years, more than $30,000 has been contributed.
The ministry keeps moving as the vision is made clear with the need to prepare our young girls for womanhood. This purpose was fulfilled with The Girls Rites of Passage Program that was birthed during the 1996 Chosen Vessel season. Since then, over 500 young girls were trained and mentored by Elders of the Church, transforming them into women for Gods glory.
As the ministry moved into the new millennium, change was the focus of our leaders as God called for A New Season, A New Anointing. The vision is made plain through Rev. Elaine's Monday Night Bible Studies, as the women of Allen are taught how to make the necessary changes to grow spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially.
The Praise & Worship experience is a very important component of our life in Christ. As Christians, we must take every opportunity to give God the glory. The series of Worship and Revival Services are designed to do just that. Thousands of women have been saved, revived and renewed by the awesome delivery of the Word from awesome women of God. The Women's Luncheon, reintroduced in 2000 brought a new level of praise to the worship experience, with the celebration of Women of the Nineties, honoring the Supervising Chairpersons who served the women's ministry during the nineties featuring Gospel Recording Artist, Vicki Winans.
In 2001, the Mother & Daughter Luncheon was introduced and featured two anointed dynamic women of God, Rev. Dr. Cecelia Bryant and daughter Dr. Thema Bryant Davis.
With a passion to bring more people to Christ, Rev. Elaine aspired to do more to heed the call, a variety of workshops were created to expand the opportunity to minister to women and address their spiritual and emotional needs. The retreat experienced phenomenal growth. The annual Women's Retreat has become a three-day event that now caters to over 1200 women. With the help of her good girlfriends, Rev. Elaine expanded the number of workshops and worship services so that women from North America, Europe and the Caribbean could experience the vision of Gods glory.
Throughout its 20 year history, over 27 church ministries were birthed, such as My Sisters Keeper, Elizabeth Support Group, Womens Choir, Cancer Support Ministry, Hospitality, Womens Resource Center, Prison Ministry and others. Never before has there been such an outgrowth of church ministries as those formed through Rev. Elaine's vision through the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
The vision did not stop there, during our season of experiencing The Power of God Within, the call to expand our territory was loud and clear. It came by way of Rev. Jessica Ingram, Supervisor of the 15th Episcopal District. The mission was to travel to South Africa to bring healing and salvation to our sisters in the motherland. Once again Rev. Elaine, along with the Nora F. Taylor Missionary Society heeded the call and made the vision real as 180 women journeyed to South Africa.
And yet it does not appear what God has in store for us. Acts 2:17 tells us God will pour out His spirit on all people, they will see visions and dream dreams. The Allen Family has been the recipient of Gods glory through the vision and dreams of Gods Leading Ladies, Rev. Dr. Elaine M. Flake and Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant. Also, let us not forgot our Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake who is an anointed preacher and supporter of the Allen Women's Ministry.
Let us rejoice and give thanks to God for His servants.