Thirty-eight women from 14 different churches gathered together in unity for the annual observance of World Prayer Day, sponsored by Church Women United.

Thirty-eight women from 14 different churches gathered together in unity for the annual observance of  World Prayer Day, sponsored by Church Women United.
The First Presbyterian Church of Neosho hosted the Friday event with a program that included Bible study groups, a business meeting, a call to worship with two hymns, and a guest speaker, Rhonda Sexton of Neosho, founder of Rhonda Sexton Ministries.
The theme of this year's World Day of Prayer was All God's Creation is Very Good with the program prepared by The World Day of Prayer Committee of Suriname.
Suriname is a very small country located on the northeastern coast of South America. Until 1975, Surname was known as Dutch Guiana.
Bible Study leaders were Jeanne Morrow, St. Canera Church, Marilyn Owen, Northside Baptist, Evelyn Roy, First Christian Church, Carolyn Finch, Northside Baptist Church, and Brenda Woods, The Canopy. Each group studied a lesson based on the first book of Genesis, focusing on Creation and the fact that God called all his creation good but humans were very good. After 45-minutes devoted to study, Rich Williams, pastor of First Presbyterian greeted the group.
"I'm glad you're all here," he said. "This is great. This is the day that the Lord has made so let us rejoice in it."
Williams commutes to the church weekly from Council Groves, Kansas, which he says is 256 miles each way.
A brief business meeting was conducted by Church Women United of Neosho President Evelyn Roy. Members approved the minutes from the last meeting and accepted the financial report prepared by treasurer Jeanne Morrow.  "Thanks to all the ladies here at First Presbyterian for being our hostesses today," Roy said. "We look forward to seeing you all at our next meeting on May 4 for World Friendship Day."
Each year, Church Woman United of Neosho hosts three meetings, each on the first Friday of the month. Each March, they observe the World Day of Prayer, in May, they mark World Friendship Day, and in November, World Community Day is held.
Rhonda Sexton spoke about her personal spiritual journey and how the Bible lesson based on Genesis relates to Christians today.
"It's my pleasure to be here today," Sexton told the gathered women. "I was raised in Neosho, from a poor family but we had a lot of love."
Her family, however, did not attend church. "When I was eight years old, I rode a church van to church," she remembered. "And, I fell in love with God and the Bible at eight. I loved going to church, I loved Wednesday night (services) and I loved Bible camp."
Sexton is a lifelong Missouri resident and lives in rural Neosho with her husband of 22 years. They have four children, ranging in age from 22 to 9.  She is a Christian writer and her newspaper columns have been inspiring readers for more than 20 years. Her vision is to heal the broken-hearted out of darkness, depression and shame to living victorious for God's plan.
"It's just such a blessing to be in  community where the women can come together like this," Sexton said. "I began my speaking just recently. God has opened up doors. God has me positioned. His time and mine are coming together."
She connected this year's theme, "All God's Creation is very good," to the reading from Genesis. "I love your theme," Sexton stated. "God is sovereign. He has dominion over the earth. I think that people get confused and think that Satan has dominion but he doesn't is not in control. He is the master of deception. He's infiltrated our schools. He's infiltrated commerce."
Sexton quoted the verses from Mark 13:5-8.
The real message, she said, is "Do not be troubled."
She also addressed the group, "You all are the matriarchs of our community. You chose to be here today. You love your church. You love your community."
Sexton summed up her message with these words, "My prayer for this time, for my season of life, is that I want to see a revival in these rural communities and to really earn the name of The Bible Belt. God has been able to turn the pain of my past into my ministry. When I think how much God loves you, I'm in awe."
Sexton is available to present her message to women and church groups. For more information about her ministries, visit Rhonda Sexton Ministries on Facebook or her website,
Church Women United of Neosho will next meet for World Friendship Day on Friday, March 4 at Freedom Fellowship, located at 13752 State Highway AA in Neosho.
Those who attended brought donations of canned goods, non-perishable food items, and toiletries for the Neosho Help Center. An offering was taken and 2/3 of the proceeds will benefit the Care Net Pregnancy Center in Neosho. The other third will go to the national Church Women United organization.
2018 Church Women of Neosho officers are President, Evelyn Roy, treasurer Jeanne Morrow, Historian and Publicity Mary Jean Barker, Secretary Sandra Smith, 1st vice-president Linda Poor, 2nd Vice President Jamie Chastain, and 3rd vice-president Peggy Becknell.
Church Women United is a racially, culturally, theologically inclusive Christian women’s movement, celebrating unity in diversity and working for a world of peace and justice. Founded in 1941, Church Women United is: a movement representing Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian women; biblically based, shared Christian faith; organized into more than 1,200 local and state units working for peace and justice in the United States and Puerto Rico; supported by constituents in state and local units and denominational women’s organizations; impassioned by the Holy Spirit to act on behalf of women and children throughout the world; and recognized as a non-governmental organization by the United Nations.