In September of 1985, Sister Mattie Blackstone sat trying to think of an outreach program designed to bring sisters in the Church of Christ closer together throughout the United States. She came up with a global vision with the idea of starting a dynamic lectureship series called “The Ladies Lecture Series.” Sister Blackstone presented the idea to the members of the Church of Christ in Spring Lake, North Carolina. The sisters liked the idea and the brethren approved it.
The Lectures would be a moveable Christian Fellowship and Inspirational Gathering for women annually. Each Lecture Series would be conducted in a different state hosted by one of the local congregations. The first meeting was held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1986 with the theme being, “Christian Women: Facing Difficult Matters of the twentieth Century.” This theme was drawn from and centered on the many problems facing Christian Women. Since then, we are now called "The Church of Christ Ladies Lectureship-Retreat." We have been invited to many cities in the United States and to the island of Bermuda.
Sister Winnie Wright began to work with Sister Blackstone in 1988; she worked until her passing in 2004. Kathyrn Brandon began to work with them in this ministry in 1989. Sister Blackstone served as COC Lectureship-Retreat Coordinator until she relocated in 1990. In December of 1990, Brother Paul Mason became the new minister at Spring Lake Church of Christ congregation, which is now called the Country Club Drive Church of Christ due to our new building relocation. His wife, Betty, served as Retreat Chairperson until June 2012. Elsie Gilliam was appointed as Retreat Chairperson on July 1, 2012 along with her Co-Chair Debra Biddle. Elsie was overjoyed to welcome Jeanette Moore in 2016 as another Co-Chair.
Bro. Chris Covington is now the minister of the Country Club Drive Church of Christ congregation. His leadership keeps our ladies ministry grounded in God's Word. The Ladies Retreat record attendance was over 1,800 women. It's evident that our sisters are edified and God is gloried.
We aspire to translate our dreams for Christian Women Fellowship into a rich reality and pass it on to those who will succeed us. Armed with the discipline and knowledge obtained from the “Ladies’ Lecture Series,” we trust that they will succeed. We sincerely hope you will gain more inspiration and knowledge from the conference each year and that the information received from the discussions and activities of each year’s theme proves to inspire and edify you in your search toward heaven.