A Brief History of Pentecostal Ladies Retreat
In 1991 the Lord directed our ministry to the beautiful Missouri town of West Plains, to become the pastors of Calvary Pentecostal Tabernacle Church. To our delight, our near and dear long-time friends Bro. Mike and Sis. LaDona Blue were pastoring just a few miles away. One day I was sharing my burden of many years regarding “women’s ministry,” and the need for a Ladies Retreat with LaDona. Stating the fact that no one understands a woman like another woman. For instance, days after the angel’s message to the virgin Mary that she would bear the Messiah, she went to visit Elisabeth, a woman. They were instantly bound together by the unique purpose and plan God had given them. The idea came! “Women reaching Women.”
With prayer and guidance from the Lord, we had our first Ladies Retreat in October 1992 in the resort town of Hardy, AR. The attendance was a total of 44. What a great time we had with one another, as well as a fun time …. to say the least. God’s power and Spirit gave us immediate approval and propelled us forward.
Well, means to finance this mission gave us pause. Immediately, our wonderful husbands, Rev. Joey Hight and Rev. Mike Blue stepped to the plate. For many years, we would collectively save our designated “tithe” money, to pay for speakers to come and deliver messages to these beautiful women of God. Without our husbands included vision, support and labor, Pentecostal Ladies Retreat would have never come to fruition. Quite often they referred to themselves as the “PLR pack mules,” simply because to each and every facility we have to bring our own PA equipment, keyboard, and duplicating equipment, just to name a few.
We quickly outgrew that facility and relocated to Bull Shoals, AR in 1995. Outgrowing that facility, in 1999, we moved to a much larger facility overlooking beautiful Table Rock Lake, in Kimberly City, MO. We were at Kimberling Inn for 9 years.
Record breaking attendances lead us to seek yet another larger location. For October 2008 and 2009 we “settled” at the Settle Inn Resort and Conference Center in beautiful Branson, Mo. Due to limited space at Settle Inn and continued growth, we relocated in 2010 to Lodge of the Ozarks, also in Branson, MO. Since 2012, we have been going to the beautiful Westgate Branson Woods Resort, in Branson MO.
With change, there has been gain and loss. We gained Brenda Galiher who come on board as our Registrar, along with her husband Rev. Dwaine Galiher, who has become another “PLR pack-mule.”
The loss … my LOVE, husband, bestest friend, pastor, and original “PLR pack-mule” (as he described himself to so many times). Reverend Joey Hight, after 39 years and 15 days of marriage and Ministry together, went to be with the Lord on April 17, 2016.
With God’s approval and continued growth of 250 plus in registration, we have made additional changes. Recently, Melissa Heath has become my assistant. Lisa Hutson has been assisting LaDona. Courtney Johnston is over our sound system, and Tammy Presley heads up the duplicating Department.
Our purpose and goal has been to address topics of women’s special needs and to be able to pray with women facing struggles in their life. Truly God has blessed and ministered to so many women during these 3-day retreats, myself included. To God be the glory for all things done as we continue carrying the torch ………. “Women Reaching Women.”
Sis. Tricia Hight Martin,