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P.O. Box 1518 Victoria, Texas 77902 361-574-1271 361-574-1220 Fax [email protected] January 3, 2011 Dear Religion Newswriters Association judges, Victoria Advocate faith reporter Jennifer Preyss loves her beat. She shows that regularly with her daily assignments and with her in-depth features for our Saturday faith section. She covers this important beat better than any reporter we've ever had on it. She cares deeply about her subjects and the issues explored, and it shows. Our readers let us know how much they enjoy her work and appreciate she's writing about what truly matters to them. The three stories submitted her reflect what she's doing week in and week out at the Advocate. She also writes a weekly faith column called "Revelations" that shares her personal journey. Jennifer's takes the time to get to know her subjects and gain their trust, as evidenced by the depth of her features. These are stories that would otherwise go untold in our community if not for Jennifer's strong work on her beat. Thank you for considering Jennifer as the Cassels Religion Reporter of the Year and giving us the opportunity to honor her. The Victoria Advocate has a daily circulation of about 30,000. Sincerely, Chris Cobler Editor

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Page 1: P.O. Box 1518 ccobler@vicad - cdn.ymaws.com

P.O. Box 1518 Victoria, Texas 77902

361-574-1271 361-574-1220 Fax [email protected]

January 3, 2011

Dear Religion Newswriters Association judges, Victoria Advocate faith reporter Jennifer Preyss loves her beat. She shows that regularly with her daily assignments and with her in-depth features for our Saturday faith section. She covers this important beat better than any reporter we've ever had on it. She cares deeply about her subjects and the issues explored, and it shows. Our readers let us know how much they enjoy her work and appreciate she's writing about what truly matters to them. The three stories submitted her reflect what she's doing week in and week out at the Advocate. She also writes a weekly faith column called "Revelations" that shares her personal journey. Jennifer's takes the time to get to know her subjects and gain their trust, as evidenced by the depth of her features. These are stories that would otherwise go untold in our community if not for Jennifer's strong work on her beat. Thank you for considering Jennifer as the Cassels Religion Reporter of the Year and giving us the opportunity to honor her. The Victoria Advocate has a daily circulation of about 30,000. Sincerely, Chris Cobler Editor

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Victoria Advocate, VictoriaAdvocate.com• Saturday, July 2, 2011

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VVEERRSSEE OOFF TTHHEE DDAAYYO land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord.

— Jeremiah 22:29 (NIV)Source: www.verseoftheday.com

See more faith calendar, E3

SATURDAYKeep It Real Youth Ministry will hosta GARAGE SALE at First BaptistChurch, 84 S. Stegall St., Lolita,from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. To donateitems, contact Dan Brunson at361-571-7058 or 361-874-4151.

Shiloh Baptist Church will host aBASKETBALL TOURNAMENT at theEdna High School Gym from 11a.m. to midnight. Admission: adultsand children $2.

First Baptist Church, Point Comfort,will host YOUTH FOR JESUS SWIMFEST at the Point Comfort swim-ming pool from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Ad-mission is free. The event will in-clude Christian music, fun and food.

Fishing, floating and finding GodAfter this, I looked and behold, a door was opened in Heaven.

– Revelations 4:1

Today, it was too hot to fish off my favorite little pier,but I did it anyway. It was so hot that I must have bakedmy brain, and I started imagining that anyfish that I caught would probably come outpoached, and all I would have to do isthrow a couple of potatoes in the water, andI could sit right there and have lunch.Tooooo hot!

When my 30 weight sun screen began toboil on my sun soaked skin, I finally decid-ed to quit. When I put all my gear in thecar that had also absorbed so much sunthat I was afraid that getting in it wouldleave the rest of me well done, I decidedthat I had to do something to cool down and do it quick.

My ocean never fails me, so I just walked right out in itand basted myself in a lovely salt water marinade. I re-ally thought I heard myself sizzle as I sunk in. Comparedto me, the water felt cool, and it invited me to stay awhile and play, something most fishermen never do, playin the water.



1, 2, 3,dance

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure(and yes, it really was a pleasure)to attend a seniors polka dance inDaCosta for an assignment I wasworking on. As I entered thedim-lighted dance hall, I

immediatelyscanned the longdance floor.

At least three orfour couples, morethan 20 years olderthan my parents,were spinning andtwirling around thehardwood floor;their faces lit uplike I’ve never seen

on a group of senior citizens.I stood and watched the dancing

couples for a minute, hoping in myold age I’d be the kind of lady whodesires to get all gussied up infrilly dresses and high heels andlet my man twirl me around adance floor.

After initial introductions to thePolka and Waltz Dance Club ladiesI was there to interview, I walkedaround the dance hall chattingwith some of the dancers. It didn’ttake long for me to realize when aperson enters a polka dance,they’re required to get on thefloor.

“Here’s your partner, he’s goingto show you how to polka,” one ofthe dance organizers said to me,approaching me from behind.

Recoiling a bit at the surpriseattack, I responded, “Uh ... Uh ... Ireally, really, really, don’t knowhow to do it.”

I thought my explanation wouldsuffice, but as I continued toresist, I found myself being drugout to the dance floor and takingthe polka position.



Houston hostsnationalprayer serviceBY JENNIFER [email protected]

In response to what Gov. RickPerry, R-Texas, describes as a na-tional crisis of financial, social andmoral peril, a day-long prayer ser-vice will be held next month.

The Response: A call to prayerfor a nation in crisis, is open to thepublic and will be held Aug. 6. atReliant Stadium in Houston from10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Perry said the event aims to gath-er Americans in one united spaceto pray and fast for the nation, andreflect upon the future of the coun-try.

“Right now, America is in crisis:We have been besieged by financialdebt, terrorism and a multitude ofnatural disasters,” the governorsaid in a press release. “As a na-tion, we must come together andcall upon Jesus to guide usthrough unprecedented strugglesand thank Him for the blessings of

Featuring Christian Rapper EricMarino. Contact First BaptistChurch, Point Comfort,361-987-2710.

SUNDAYPalestine Missionary BaptistChurch, 608 E. Convent St. will hostits ANNUAL NURSES AND USHERSDAY at 3 p.m. The guest speakerwill be the Rev. Fred Hobbs, ofMount Nebo Missionary BaptistChurch. The Nurses and UshersMinistries invite you to come andmarch in the Ushers and NursesMarch. Alfred Williams is the usherspresident and Bobbie Bosier is thenurses president. The Rev. G.O.Wyatt is the host pastor.




CONTRIBUTED PHOTOJohn Wesley United Methodist Church, 8300N.E. Zac Lentz Parkway, will host its summergames party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 14.A light meal and door prizes are included in the$7.50 admission. Bring your group and games.For reservations, call Maxine Mathias at361-578-6474 or Evelyn Williams at361-575-5846. Party planners, from left, areEvelyn Williams, Maxine Mathias, Lavonia McRaeand Peggy Stewart.

BY JENNIFER [email protected]

SAN ANTONIO – Hoveringaround a mixing board in theproduction room of San Anto-nio-based Studio M, Christianrap artist Jarrell Flowersbobbed his head to the beat.

Entranced in the productionprocess of his upcoming song,“Save Us,” Flowers glancedto the seat next to him, at Stu-dio M producer Ron Morales,and said, “It’s good, man, it’sgood. It sounds like it’s hittingpretty well.”

“It’s gonna be hot when it’sdone, Jarrell,” Morales re-sponded, gliding his mouseover a duel monitor flatscreen, playing around withvarious pitches of the word“holy.”

Studio M’s main recordingroom is gray and dim; a blackleather sofa sits in the rear ofthe room, eager for specta-tors. In front of Flowers andMorales, and their oversizedsound board, a soundproofglass partition separates theproduction room from therecording den filled withstate-of-the-art instrumentsand microphone equipment.

For Flowers, the recordingstudio is a church; his raps, atool to spread the gospel.

And while rap isn’t tradition-ally synonymous with uplift-ing and positive messagesabout walking right with God,Flowers said hip-hop can beused as any other tool tospread the gospel of Jesus.

“People hear Christian andrap and think they just can’tgo together,” Flowers said.“It’s not mainstream, butthere’s a growing number ofpeople who are increasinglywanting to hear somethingdifferent.”

Flowers, 28, has spent hun-dreds of hours with Moralesat Studio M, laying down vo-cal tracks on his current

UPCOMING SHOWS FOR JARRELL FLOWERS■ Sunday, July 3 at 6:30 p.m. – Cornerstone Church, San Antonio; TBN City-Wide Youth

Night with Josh Radford and more■ Saturday, July 16 at 4 p.m. – ATT Center, San Antonio; 2-City Transformation Kickoff■ Saturday, July 23 at 6 p.m. – Venue to be announced, San Antonio; Barrier Breakers

with C-Flo■ Sunday, July 24 at 6 p.m. – Victory Chapel, San Antonio; Barrier Breakers with C-Flo■ Saturday, July 30 at 2 p.m. – Texas Ski Ranch, New Braunfels – Jesus Jam Fest■ For more information, visit www.freedommusicgroup.com, or Freedom Music Group

fan page on Facebook.

Artist usesmusic as toolto spread gospel

HIP-HOPa n d J e s u s

PHOTOS: TODD KRAININ/[email protected] Flowers said hismusic is a tool forspreading the messageof Christianity. “I believethe Gospel is foreverybody,” he said.“It’s for the savedpeople, it’s for the lostpeople.”

Flowers listens to his own music while editing at Studio M, a recording studio in San Antonio in June 10.

To see video of of Jarrell Flowers at Studio M,go to www.VictoriaAdvocate.com and click on the story.


“I’ve never been a thug,I’ve never been any of that

stuff that rap musicnormally portrays,” said

Flowers. In contrast,Flowers said he was

religious from an early age,has no interest in illegal

drugs, and was a virgin onhis wedding night.


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VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Saturday, July 2, 2011 — E3VictoriaAdvocate.com


MONDAYThe 4TH OF JULY ANNUALGOSPEL CONCERT will be heldat Templo Jerusalem BaptistChurch, 2205 MockingbirdLane, from 1 to 5 p.m. Theevent is sponsored by the Vic-toria County Gospel SingingAssociation. No admission; afree will offering will be re-ceived. Everyone is invited andbring a friend. Featuring TheTelestials, of Nashville; The Bai-ley Family, of Victoria; Heartsof Grace, of Brazoria; ReunionTrio, of Rockport; Dwain Har-bers, of Yorktown; Tom Adair,of Cedar Creek; and The Kil-lens, of Weesatche. Contact361-578-6379 or361-572-9423.

Celebration Church, 310 Lark-spur Drive, will hold a JULYFOURTH CELEBRATION begin-ning at 6 p.m. There will be $1parking for the fireworks, food,fun and games. For more infor-mation, call Pam Poarch at361-828-0432.

JULY 9The First United MethodistChurch, of Port Lavaca, willhost the THE TELESTIALS at 6p.m. Everyone is invited. Thechurch is located at 814 N. San

Antonio St. Contact Doyce Tay-lor, 361-552-6087.

JULY 10Mount Salem Baptist Church,609 E. North St., Victoria willhold INSTALLATION SERVICESfor its new pastor, the Rev.Kraig L. Pullam, at 3:30 p.m.Guest preacher for the 11 a.m.service will be the Rev. JamesSorrell. The guest preacher forthe 3:30 p.m. installation ser-vice will be moderator WilliamPullam, pastor of the St. JohnFirst Baptist Church in CorpusChristi.

Mount Bethel Baptist Church,400 Grant St., Cuero, will holda FAMILY AND FRIENDS DAY.The Rev. John Davenport, ofSt. Peters Baptist Church inVictoria, will be the guestspeaker at the 11 a.m. service.Pastor Kevin Van Hook, of St.Peters Baptist Church, in Victo-ria will be the guest speaker atthe 3 p.m. service. The hostministers will be the Rev. D.A.Belvin Sr. and the Rev. RoyGreen.

JULY 10-16The Fellowship of Churches ofPort Lavaca will host a SEVENDAY TENT REVIVAL at 1104 W.Austin St. Services will be heldfrom 7 to 9 p.m. each nightwith Evangelist Rod Vincent of

Dayton. Contact the Rev. J.Fowler, 361-571-6203 or361-570-1846.

JULY 11-15New Wine Fellowship Min-istries, along with pastors Wal-ter and Bonita Ford will hostLOOSE THE YOUTH CAMP ANDCONFERENCE. The event willbe held at Victoria CommunityCenter, 2905 E. North St., andis for ages 4-19. Early registra-tion is $50 through June 3.Late registration is June 4through start of camp and is$60 per person. Contact thechurch office, 361-573-0544for more information.

The Calhoun County MinisterialAlliance will hold its SUMMERYOUTH PROGRAM from 1 to 4p.m. at Travis Middle Schoolgym. The program is for out-going fifth-graders throughoutgoing eighth-graders. Therewill be games, snacks, craftsand a time of devotion.

JULY 14John Wesley United MethodistChurch, 8300 N.E. Zac LentzParkway, will hold a GAMESPARTY from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.Admission is $7.50 per person.Activities include door prizes,50/50 and a light lunch. Bringyour group and your games.Reservations required. Call

Maxine Mathias, 361-578-6474, or Evelyn Williams,361-575-5846.

Special services, religiousevents and religiousfundraisers for the FaithCalendar must be posted tothe the online calendar atVictoriaadvocate.com by 5p.m. Wednesday for publi-cation in Saturday’s Faithsection. Email Faith picturesto [email protected].

Regularly occurring churchservices, Bible studies andclasses will be posted onour online calendar only.



“1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3 ... that’s it,there you go,” my dancepartner said to me.

Oddly, as I stared down atour feet moving at the sametime (and in the right order)I realized I was smilingear-to-ear. Not only was Igetting the hang of thepolka, I was actuallyenjoying myself.

With my press badgeswinging all over the place,and my cowboy boots doingthe best they could to keepup with my new polkadancing friend, I moved

across the floor feeling quiteproud of myself for pickingup the steps so quickly.

When the song ended, andI realized how out of shape Iwas, several onlookers cameto greet me, praising mynovice polka dancingabilities.

“You did great. Was thatreally your first time?”

Somewhat breathy, I said,“Yeah ... and it was a lotmore fun than I thought itwould be.”

I thanked my polka partnerand praised him for hisexcellent teaching skills,then continued on in my

reporting assignment.Later, when we drove back

to Victoria, I imaginedmyself as an 80-somethinglady.

I asked myself if I wantedto be the kind of woman whogets old and turns into amoo-moo wearinghomebody? Or if I wanted tobe the kind of woman whoputs on makeup and nicedresses and goes outdancing?

Who knows if I’ll actuallylive to be an old woman.That’s up to God to decide.But the seniors at the polkadance reminded me how

much fun it can be to growold.

They also reminded mehow important it is to dancewhen someone invites youon the dance floor (of life)because you just might pickup the steps a little easierthan you think.

And I, for one, want to exitthis world with a smile onmy face and my skirtspinning in the air.

Jennifer Preyss is areporter for the VictoriaAdvocate. You can reachher at 361-580-6535 [email protected].


REVELATIONS: Always dance when someone invites you to

freedom we so richly en-joy.”

At the prayer service, Per-ry hopes to encourageTexas residents and citi-zens across the country, toask God for forgiveness,wisdom and provision forTexas, and the UnitedStates as a whole.

“There is hope for Amer-ica. It lies in heaven, and wewill find it on our knees,”Perry said.

Perry notes Americanpeople have often looked toGod throughout history forhealing and provision.

Entrance to the event isfree, but registration is re-quired to be admitted insidethe venue.


PRAYER: Make plans to attend

All of the morning’s funhad really sucked andsoaked the energy right outof me, so I just finally laidright down and started float-ing around. It was when Ifloating out there on myback, that something hap-pened truly special that real-ly blessed me.

When you lie floating onthe water bed of the sea, us-ing each wave as your pil-low, the only place you canlook is up. I found that theonly thing between me andheaven was an emptysky-blue sky, and I felt as ifall I had to do to be close toGod was just lie there andbe.

As I floated freely along in

this “Holy of Holies,” I didn’tneed to say prayers, ask fa-vors, beg forgiveness orseek blessings. I surelydidn’t even have to tell Godwhat to do, as I usually getaround to doing that when Ipray. I just had to be therewith nothing between Godand me.

Now, I think I know whatheaven is: a place where

nothing will be between meand God.

Dear Lord, today was theworst and best of times.Thank you for letting mebe so miserable that I fi-nally could do nothing,but lie there and look up-ward and “let the door toheaven” be opened forme.


OCEANS: All I had to do to be close to God was lie there, be

album “The Freedom Pro-ject,” and his upcoming al-bum, which has not yet beentitled. Each of the albumsexclusively feature songsabout surrendering to Je-sus.

“Jarrell is one of the pick-ier guys I’ve worked with.We’ll spend hours going overeach thing,” Morales said.“The way technology isthese days, you can doamazing things in the mixprocess.”

Flowers’ passion forspreading the message ofJesus through rap sendshim across Texas. And withmany friends in the Victoriaarea, he’s often invited toperform at various churchevents across town. Lastmonth, Parkway Church in-vited Flowers to perform fora group of about 40teenagers at their One Re-treat hosted at the SpiritualRenewal Center. With a mi-crophone in one hand, andaviator sunglasses on hisface, Flowers rapped “WhiteRags,” “Memories” and oth-

er songs from “The Free-dom Project,” introducingan excited group ofteenagers to the message ofGod.

Many of the retreat atten-dees were non-Christians,yet they were able to gethyped about Flowers’ rapbeats, even spinning whiterags above their heads asthe music played.

“Through this tool, theycan be exposed to sometruths they wouldn’t havebeen exposed to, otherwise,”said Flowers, who workswith youth in his own SanAntonio-based church FaithOutreach. “The goal is toconnect the dots behind themusic ... to teach them thelifestyle of Christianity, not areligion.”

It’s easy for Flowers toteach that lifestyle becausehe lives his Christian faithevery day.

Growing up in a Christianhome with a minister father,confessing Jesus at age 4,and living most of his lifewalking as he believes Godexpects him to, has devel-oped a strong role-model


HIP-HOP: Young rapper hopes to continue making music for God, attracting people to Christ

TODD KRAININ/[email protected] Jarrell Flowers was born into a religious family, he said he became serious about Christianityafter surviving a car accident. “Some people have a testimony where God has saved them from a lot ofstuff,” he said. “I have a different testimony. God has kept me from a lot of stuff.”

quality in the rapper that heuses to educate audiences.

And as a married youthpastor, and father to20-month-old daughter Nyo-mi, he said his life looks a lotlike any other family man’smight.

“I’m not the typical rapstory. I never did drugs ... Iwas a virgin when I got mar-ried,” Flowers laughed. “It’sGod’s keeping power. Somepeople have a testimonywhere God saved them froma lot of stuff. I have a testi-mony where God has keptme from a lot of stuff. SameGod, same power.”

And as far as living up tothe rap “thug” persona,Flowers said he doesn’t wor-ry about it.

“I did feel the pressure atone point to have some sortof street story,” he said. “ButI’m not a thug; I’ve neverbeen a thug.”

As CEO of his own San An-tonio-based label FreedomMusic Group, the young rap-per said he hopes to contin-ue making music for Godand attracting people toChrist. And he wants to gen-

erate a bit of fame – forGod.

“I’m not really looking to

be all superstar. The goalisn’t fame. The goal isspreading the message,”

Flowers said. “As a Chris-tian, you’re more concernedwith God’s fame.”

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Victoria Advocate, VictoriaAdvocate.com• Saturday, July 23, 2011

SSaattuurrddaayy SSeerrmmoonn,, EE22PPhhiilloossoopphhyy LLiittee,, EE22CCoommmmuunniittyy nneewwss,, EE22






See more faith calendar, E3

SATURDAYSISTA SAT-DAY MORNIN’, under the direction of Pastor IngridWilliams, will sponsor a conference beginning at 10 a.m. atNew Revelation Ministries, 358 Foster Field Drive. Specialguests include soloist Casandra Coleman, Pastor Glo Mitchelland the Bethlehem Baptist Church Praise Singers. The themeis “Turning to God in Our Time of Crisis.” Registration is $15for adults; and $5 for 18 and under. The money will benefitthe group’s sponsorship of Thanksgiving meals for needyfamilies. A salad luncheon will be served following the ser-vice.

PAUL'S JOURNEY will be in concert from 7 to 9 p.m. at Fel-lowship Bible Church, 3401 N. Ben Jordan St. For more in-formation, contact Sara Daniel [email protected] or paulsjourneyonline.com.

YOUTH FOR JESUS SWIM FEST will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. atPoint Comfort Swimming Pool. Admission is free. Activitiesinclude Christian music featuring Christian Rapper Eric Mari-no, fun and food. Contact First Baptist Church, Point Com-fort, 361-987-2710.

‘If you catch them, He will clean them’And Jesus saith unto them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you Fishers ofMen. – Matthew 4:19

Today, as I was driving down the highway, a sign on a churchcaught my eye. It wasn’t because of the deeply spiritual mes-sage, but because it had the word “fish” in it. It was so movingthat I wanted to share it with you readers.

The sign said “Be ye Fishers of Men. If youcatch them, He will clean them.”

As I traveled on down the road, I really thoughtabout that sign. It was a short-and-sweet,tried-and-true message. It was to the point andperfectly positive in nature.

I should have left it alone and just totally af-firmed it. But sometimes, my mind just goes sil-ly on me, and I think in surprising ways. Here iswhat this fisherman’s brain came up with:

“Be ye Fishers of Men. If you don’t, you can’tcatch them, He can’t clean them, but the Devilcan surely still fry them.”

Dear Lord, I am not trying to be sacrilegious, and I amsure that you know that. I know I am made in Your im-age so You, too, must have a sense of humor. We peoplealways pray to You about such serious things that Ithought You might just need a good laugh once in awhile. I’ll just call it, “Prayer Lite.”



IF YOU GO■ WHAT: The Joy of

the Lord WorshipCenter, OnenessPentecostalApostolic Holiness

■ WHERE: 1604 E.Crestwood Drive;next to VictoryChristian Life Center.

■ SERVICE TIMES:Sunday school, 9:30a.m.; morningworship, 10:30 a.m.;Sunday eveningworship, 6 p.m.;Wednesday Bibleclass, 7 p.m.; Fridayevening worship,7 p.m.

■ MORE INFO:361-218-4141

‘This isn’t like every church. Notall churches speak in tongues’



PHOTOS: KATHLEENDUNCAN/[email protected] Rev. Dr.David P. Motenpreaches tothecongregationduring theservice atThe Joy of theLord WorshipCenterrecently.

Lori Ortega, left, Connie Tijerina and Pattie Steen pray during the service at The Joy of the Lord Worship CenterSunday morning. While praying, some of the congregation speaks in tongues, which they say happens whenthey are filled with the Holy Ghost.

BY JENNIFER [email protected]

Donning a gold ministerial robe with three doctoratestripes down the sleeves of his regalia, the Rev. Dr. DavidMoten led his Sunday morning congregation in worship.

From behind a lectern, moved by the Holy Ghost, Moten’ssermon transitioned to a spiritual language.

“Eh te la ta la na ba na ta sha. Hal eh na la ta la na ba nata sha. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Ah ta ba sha.Hallelujah” he said, waving his index finger in the air.

Before him, The Joy of the Lord Worship Center’s scantycongregation cheered and clapped, gushing forth their ownversion of indecipherable patter.

The erratic utterances, known as speaking in tongues, isa common form of worship at Pentecostal churches, suchas Moten’s Oneness Pentecostal Apostolic HolinessChurch on East Crestwood Drive.

Moten, who preaches about being infused with the Holy

To see videoof a serviceat The Joy ofthe LordWorshipCenter, go towww.VicAd.com andclick on thestory.





Texas Cabins quilting fundraiser

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOThe Shiner Heritage Quilters hosted a Texas Cabinsquilting fundraiser in conjunction with the 2011 SpringInto Quilting Show. Donations were made to Shiner Rehaband Nursing Home, Shiner Girl Scout Troop 534,American Cancer Society, Shiner Public Library,LAMB-Lavaca Assistance Ministry Body, First UnitedMethodist Church of Shiner and the Shiner FireDepartment. The Shiner Heritage Quilters, front row, fromleft, are Janet Ferguson, chair of raffle quilt; Carolyn andMarilyn Schroeder, committee members; Rae Nell Janik,guild president; and Kathleen Schacherl, guild treasurer;back row, are Carolyn Whitmire, Bernadette Kresta, BettyKloesel, Tammy Frietsch, Irene Cerny, La Verne Madala,Annette Meyer, Deloris Gaus, Wanda Myers and GwenEasterly. Not pictured is Karen Hermes.

CONTRIBUTED BYDAN ANGERMILLERDan Angermillerand a team of20 missionariesfrom The GroveChurch inArizona,delivered 7,000pairs of shoesto two villagesand The AfricanBible College inMalawi, Africa.

Today, my heart is full, and I’m so excitedto tell you why.

Do you remember Barefoot Sunday? Theevent was held in February at RenegadeChurch with a goal of collecting 1,000 pairsof shoes for children in Malawi, Africa. Ele-mentary, middle and high schools; collegesand churches; a synagogue and mosque;The Victoria Advocate, and individuals fromall over the Crossroads gave their time,

money and resources to help collect shoesthat would later be sent to African familiesin need.

On Barefoot Sunday, Feb. 27, we didn’t justmeet our goal of 1,000, we surpassed it by4,000 pairs. And St. Joseph’s Keaton Warrencontributed more than 1,200 pairs of socks

Making the world a little better,One pair of shoes at a time

See, E2

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VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Saturday, July 23, 2011 — E3VictoriaAdvocate.com




Revelations: Donatedshoes handed out inAfrican villages, college

Palestine Missionary BaptistChurch, 608 E. Convent St.,will host a CHICKEN SPAGHET-TI DINNER from 10 a.m. to 2p.m. Plates are $5 each. Freedelivery is available with thepurchase of 10 or more platesto the same address.

SUNDAYPalestine Missionary BaptistChurch, 608 E. Convent St.,will observe its annual FAMILYAND FRIEND DAY with a 3:30p.m. service. The guest churchwill be the Little Zion BaptistChurch of Kendleton and itspastor, Richard Booker.

Morning Star Baptist Church,Cuero Street, Bloomington, willhost a SEVENTH ANNIVERSARYSERVICE honoring the Rev. andMrs. Frank Harvey Jr. at 3 p.m.The guest speaker will be theRev. Vernon Garza of MountCalvary Baptist Church, Victo-ria.


grade, will be from 9 a.m. tonoon at Trinity EpiscopalChurch, 1501 N. Glass St. Formore information, call thechurch office, 361-573-3228,or Ada Sutherland,361-572-4816. HometownNazareth is free and open tothe community.

First Presbyterian Church, 2408N. Navarro St., will host SON-SURF BEACH BASH VACATIONBIBLE SCHOOL beginning at 5p.m. with a sack supper andending at 8 p.m. All ages arewelcome, from children toadults. For more information,call the church office at361-575-2441.

WEDNESDAYA SERVICE OF THE WORD FORHEALING will be at 7 p.m. at St.Luke’s Lutheran Church inSchroeder. The service is spon-sored jointly by St. Luke’s andSt. Peter’s Lutheran Church inAnder. St. Luke’s is located at11547 Farm-to-Market Road622 in Schroeder. For more in-formation about the service,call 361-645-2038 or361-275-8775.

JULY 31FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHwill install the Rev. KathrynMorton as pastor at a 4 p.mservice. A reception will followthe service in the fellowshiphall, 2404 N. Navarro St. Formore information, call thechurch office at 351-575-2441.

St. Peter’s Baptist Church, Pas-tor Kevin VanHook, will host its48TH WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRA-TION at the church’s temporaryworship site, Our Saviour’sLutheran Church Sanctuary,4102 N. Ben Jordan St. The10:45 morning worship speak-er will be Dr. Frances Wortheyof Waco. Music will be provid-ed by the Women’s Day Cho-rus. The speaker at the 4 p.m.service will be Dr. Delvin Achi-son of Antioch Baptist Church,of Waco. He will be accompa-nied by his congregation. After-noon activities will includerecognition of Christian Wom-en of Service in the communi-ty. This year’s leaders are JoanBennett, Ora West and TwylaThomas. The public is invitedto share in this celebration.


will host a special service at 10a.m. celebrating the ministry ofPastor B.J. Hall. He has served51 years in the ministry andhas spent the last 10 yearsserving at the Bayside Commu-nity Church as the pastor. TheBailey Family, of Victoria, andthe Song of Glory, of Rockport,will lead the music. WillieBearfield, of San Antonio, willbe the guest speaker. A specialinvitation is extended to thefriends of the pastor and family.

Special services, religiousevents and religiousfundraisers for the FaithCalendar must be posted tothe online calendar at Victo-riaadvocate.com by 5 p.m.Wednesday for publicationin Saturday’s Faith section.E-mail Faith pictures [email protected].

Regularly occurring churchservices, Bible studies andclasses will be posted onour online calendar only.


Ghost at baptism – and the giftof tongues that follows the act –described the chatter as a spir-itual language between manand God; a language that Satancannot understand or pene-trate.

“This isn’t like every church.Not all churches speak intongues. We do it when we feelled by the Spirit,” Moten said.

Joy of the Lord church mem-ber Connie Tijerina, of Victoria,said she’s been attendingMoten’s church for about ayear and has seen her relation-ship with the Lord strengthensince attending.

“I have seen what God hasdone in my life after coming tothis church,” Tijerina said.“And I love knowing that I cango to (Moten) and ask himquestions, and he’ll show meanswers in the Bible.”

Tijerina said she received thegift of speaking in tongues af-ter she was baptized in Moten’schurch.

“Believe me, it’s different. Mywhole life changed,” she said.“I didn’t know what I was say-ing … but God understandsme.”

Moten’s church formalizedabout six years ago, when hemoved to Texas from Detroitafter meeting his wife, TeriMoten, online.

Teri Moten is a licensed min-ister, and together they serve acongregation of about 40 peo-ple.

Before moving to their newworship building, next to Victo-ry Christian Life CenterChurch, Moten’s congregationmet weekly at the Town PlazaMall. The mall was sold in fall2010. The tenants had to moveout as their leases expired.

“I went looking all over thecity. I went to different church-es to ask where we could get aplace to worship,” he said.

Eventually, Moten said hediscovered a vacant building atVictory Christian Life Center;a building he soon learned hadbeen vacant for seven years.Victory Christian Life Centerallowed Moten’s church to oc-cupy their empty space.

“If I knew this place was hereseven years ago, I would havebeen here all along,” he said. “Ijust know God had it saved forus.”

The Joy of the Lord WorshipCenter differs from OrthodoxPentecostals, such as Assem-blies of God and FoursquarePentecostal Churches. Eventhough each believes in theability to speak in tongues afterbaptism, Oneness churchespreach a unique Christian doc-trine apart from mainstream

Pentecostals and other Chris-tian denominations.

As a Oneness PentecostalApostolic church, The Joy ofthe Lord Worship Center re-jects Trinitarian doctrine, thebelief in God as three persons:Father, Son and Holy Spirit,which is held in most main-stream Christian churchesthroughout the world.

Oneness Pentecostals more-over, believe the three manifes-tations of God are all Jesus,and a person can only experi-ence the infusion of the HolySpirit through a baptism in Je-sus’ name, rather than a bap-tism “in the name of the Fa-ther, Son and Holy Spirit.” Fol-lowing a baptism in Jesus’name, a person will receive thegift of tongues, Moten said.

Roger Olson, professor oftheology at Baylor University’sTruett Theological Seminary,said there are differences be-tween Oneness and main-stream Pentecostal groups.

“Most Pentecostals considerOneness churches to be afringe group. They’re a minor-ity church,” Olson said.

Kevin Lewis, professor of the-ology and law at Biola Univer-sity, in La Mirada, Calif.,agreed with Olson, explainingthat Oneness churches oftenstray from traditional Pente-costal beliefs and may be con-sidered by some as a theologi-cal cult.

“Oneness Pentecostals holdto an ancient heresy calledmodalism ... and it is not un-common for them to believeTrinitarians are pagans, accus-ing them of believing in threeGods,” Lewis said.

Lewis, who teaches courseson systematic theology, cults ofAmerica, demonology and theoccult, and the theology ofchurch and state, said Onenessmembers are not dangerousgroups, and are likely goodneighbors and communitymembers.

Orthodox Pentecostals mayalso differ from Onenessgroups in their practice ofspeaking in tongues, Lewissaid. He said orthodox Pente-costals typically follow moreclosely the Apostle Paul’sguidelines in the Bible’s 1Corinthians 14:27, “If anyonespeaks in tongues, two – or atthe most three – should speak,one at a time, and someonemust interpret. If there is no in-terpreter, the speaker shouldbe quiet in the church andspeak to himself and God.”

Olson said Paul’s guidelinesfor speaking in tongues in 1Corinthians specifically referto speaking in tongues inchurch services, wherenonbelievers may be present.

“If there’s not an interpreterpresent, most Pentecostalswould say that’s inappropri-ate,” Olson said.

The Rev. Jon Carmona, ofJerusalem Family Praise Cen-ter, a Victoria-based Assem-blies of God Pentecostalchurch, said he reserves histongues-speaking for personalprayer time.

“I haven’t spoken in tonguesin public. If I’m in church, I’llalways whisper it to myself be-cause there is supposed to bean interpreter if I’m doing itloud enough for others tohear,” Carmona said.

At Moten’s church, many peo-ple spoke in tongues through-out the service, without an in-terpreter present, demonstrat-ing the uniqueness of thisbranch of Pentecostalism.

Now that Moten’s church hasofficially moved into its newbuilding, he hopes the congre-gation will continue to grow.


TONGUES: Pastor hopes congregation will continue to grow, flourish

Linda Acosta reacts as congregants lay hands on her while prayingduring the service at The Joy of the Lord Worship Center.

he collected throughout the city to comple-ment the shoe drive.

Well Victoria, your shoes and socks havebeen delivered. Children and adults in Malawiare right now walking around in a pair ofshoes you donated. For many of them, it’s thefirst pair of shoes they’ve ever owned. Thinkabout that for a minute.

Last month, a team of missionaries from TheGrove Church in Arizona flew to Malawi withmore than 7,000 pairs of your shoes, and dis-tributed them to two villages and The AfricanBible College.

If you remember, The Grove’s senior pastorPalmer Chinchen was Barefoot Sunday’skeynote speaker. He was also the inspirationfor the event. Barefoot Sunday was his brain-child, starting a similar collection two yearsago at his church in Chandler, Ariz.

A member of The Grove, Dan Angermiller,who also founded Lightfeet Project after visit-ing Malawi on a mission trip more than a yearago, flew to Victoria with Palmer, and helpedorchestrate the reception and delivery of theshoes post Barefoot Sunday.

With a team of 20 people, Angermiller flew toMalawi for two weeks, and helped distributethe shoes and socks.

“We went with 7,000 pairs, but we could havetaken three times that number and still nothad enough,” he told me. “It was really en-couraging to give out the shoes, but at thesame time, you saw there’s such a greatneed.”

Angermiller said the first village they visitedhad a population of 200 people, but wordspread immediately throughout the region offree shoes being given out. On foot, withoutshoes, thousands of people in neighboring vil-lages walked more than 10 miles to receive apair of shoes.

“One man said, ‘This is the happiest day ofmy life,” he said,” describing the excited reac-tion of an adult man who received his first pairof shoes.

Later in the trip, Angermiller’s team dis-tributed shoes in one the villages I worked inwhen I was there in 2009. When he told methey were handing out shoes to those children,I felt like I was there with them again – or atleast I felt like my heart was there. I wish verymuch I could have been there handing overshoes and socks to kids I was holding andplaying with only two summers ago. I hopesomeday I’ll return.

Toward the end of our conversation, hethanked me for organizing the Barefoot Sun-day event in Victoria. But I quickly remindedhim that I had nothing to do with collecting5,000 pairs of shoes – the thanks belonged tothe people of the Crossroads (and many gen-erous donators back home in Atlanta).

And I certainly had nothing to do with deliv-ering the shoes to Africa; that thanks belongedto Angermiller and his team.

But the greatest thanks goes to God becauseHe put shoes on the feet of 7,000 people in oneof the poorest countries in the world.

So, if you helped make Barefoot Sunday asuccess in any way – prayed, gave, donated,counted, whatever – let me say one more time,“THANK YOU!”

You are responsible for making the world alittle better today, and that’s pretty darn awe-some, people.

Jennifer Preyss is a re porter for the Victo-ria Advocate. You can reach her at361-580-6535 or [email protected].

PHOTOS BY KATHLEEN DUNCAN/[email protected] Davenport, center, comes forward as The Joy of the Lord Worship Center congregation lays handson him and speaks in tongues.

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Victoria Advocate, VictoriaAdvocate.com• Saturday, October 1, 2011

SSaattuurrddaayy SSeerrmmoonn,, EE22PPhhiilloossoopphhyy LLiittee,, EE22DDeeaarr AAbbbbyy,, EE44CCoommiiccss,, EE55Community news, E6




VVEERRSSEE OOFF TTHHEE DDAAYYGlory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the

LORD rejoice.— 1 Chronicles 16:10 (NIV

Source: www.verseoftheday.com

See more faith calendar, E3

SATURDAYSISTA SAT-DAY MORNIN’ SISTASIN ACTION will meet from 10 a.mto noon at 3604 Glendale St.Contact Pastor Ingrid Williams,361-575-3007 or 361-212-0033.

SUNDAYThe seventh annual Port LavacaLIFE CHAIN will be from 2 to 3p.m. at the corner of state High-way 35 and Virginia Street inPort Lavaca. A table will be setup in the Donut Palace parkinglot at 1:30 p.m. to register andpick up a sign. For more infor-mation, phone 361-552-4368.

Holy Cross Catholic Church, willhold its FALL FESTIVAL ANDTURKEY DINNER from 11 a.m. to

1 p.m. at the Knights of Colum-bus Hall, 216 Nichols Road, BayCity. Plates are $8 each and con-sist of turkey, homemade dress-ing mashed potatoes, greenbeans, cranberry sauce anddessert. There also will be a liveand silent auction, country store,raffle and children’s games. Con-tact: 979-245-6379.

St. Paul Baptist Church, 2105Pleasant Green St., will host theINSTALLATION OF PASTOR ROD-NEY E. LEE at 3:30 p.m. Theguest speaker is the Rev. F. L. Fill-more of Northland Baptist Churchof Houston.

Key lessons in retirement:learn to relax, enjoy life

"Return unto thy rest, O my soul; For the Lord has dealt boun-tifully with thee."

– Psalms 116: 7

My sister, who is also my best friend, strong-ly suggested that I shut up and quit writingabout being retired in my articles. She andprobably the other readers are sick of hearingof it. After all, all you have to do is do thesame thing over and over long enough andyou retire. No big deal. Seeing that I have al-ready blown her retirement suggestion off bywriting about it in this article, you can seehow well I mind my sister, Jo.

In my pre-retirement life of being an educa-tor, I had to learn, practice, perform and per-fect everything I had to do. Everything was routine, regulat-ed, and repeated every year with just a few tweaks and turnseach year.

What I am trying to say is I flat don’t know how to retire.And it is driving me and everyone else crazy.

I think the last course on your master’s degree should be

Victoria Christian AssistanceMinistry plans 25th anniversary

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOVictoria Christian Assistance Ministry will celebrate its25th anniversary and new location with an openhouse from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 8 at 108 N. Liberty St.Planning the celebration, from left, are Gary Moses,community liaison and master of ceremonies; BarbaraNilsson, board president; Kim Ozment-Gold, VCAMexecutive director; and VCAM board members BonnieWilkinson and Dr. Walter Herbst. The public is invitedto enjoy an evening of entertainment andrefreshments, with door prizes and silent auction. AKaraoke fundraiser for VCAM will begin at 8 p.m. atthe Golden Gecko, 202 E. Forrest St.



Reflectingabout myJewish selfBY JENNIFER [email protected]

Last Wednesday began HighHoly Days in the JewishFaith. High Holidays – or the10-day period of repentanceand reflection before YomKippur – startseach year withthe Jewish NewYear RoshHashanah.

I attended lastWednesday’ssunset RoshHashanah ser-vice at TempleB’nai Israel inVictoria to ob-serve the The Ten Days of Re-pentance commence.

It wasn’t the first Jewishservice I’ve attended al-though many years havepassed since I last entered atemple.

You see, I’m somewhat of anhonorary Jew (and I use thatterm lovingly), so observingJewish holidays is nothingnew for me – even though I’ma practicing Christian.

When I say I’m an honoraryJew, I mean that I was secon-darily raised by a Jewish fam-ily.

From the time I was in sec-ond grade until graduatinghigh school, I spent most ofmy after-school and weekenddays with my Jewish bestfriend Leah and her family.Leah and I spent so muchtime together that eventuallyour sisters and mothers alsoestablished lasting friend-ships. To say our familieswere close, would be a grossunderstatement. When I wasa sophomore in high school,my parents bought a housefour homes down from Leah.

After moving in the neigh-borhood, there weren’t toomany days we didn’t hang out.If I wasn’t at her house, shewas at mine.

All the years I spent with“growing up Jewish” ac-quainted me with Jewish fare,Hebrew prayers and songs,Yiddish slang, discussions ofthe Holocaust, Bar and BatMitzvahs, temple services,and of course, holidays. Thus,my honorary Jew-ness.

Whenever I’d say, or dosomething distinctively Jew-ish, Leah or one of her familymembers would always teaseme, “Are you sure you’re notJewish?”

Even though it’s a relativelyinsignificant Jewish holiday,Hanukah was always my fa-vorite. Every year, no matterwhat, Leah’s mom and dadpresented me with a smallHanukah present so Iwouldn’t be left out of the cel-ebrations.

Opening my gift on Hanukahevery year, always made mefeel like part of the family.

Sitting in temple last week, Ithought about Leah and herfamily, and affectionately re-membered the years we grewup together.

BY JENNIFER [email protected]

Jennifer Bays appears on the surface, a typicalteenager.

The wide-eyed, 19-year-old Victoria resident ap-preciates colorful makeup, modish clothes, anddialoguing about future life plans.

But the scars on Bays’ forearms reveal how onlya few years ago, a future of any kind may havenever come to pass.

“I was so out of control, very suicidal. Momdidn’t know what to do with me,” Bays recalled.“It was pretty violent. I was rageful.”

Bays spent four years of her life as aself-harmer. More specifically, she was a cutter, orsomeone who cuts their flesh to deal with emo-tional turmoil.

Bays’ cutting stemmed from early childhoodbullying and other self-image insecurities, shesaid.

Her raised, crisscrossed scars are prominentfrom wrist to elbow, as well as other, more con-cealed areas of Bays’ body.

But she considers herself today, a survivor ofself-harm; her scars a stamp of God’s mercy andsalvation.

KATHLEEN DUNCAN/[email protected] Bays, 19, has scars lining her arms from her past as a cutter, one type of self harmful behavior. Bays, a Christian, isstarting the first support group for self-harmers in Victoria through Faith Family Church's Celebrate Recovery.

KATHLEEN DUNCAN/KATHLEEN DUNCANBays speaks about her experiences as a cutter.Many y aspects including bullying, relationshipissues, emotional factors and unbalancedhormones are thought to have contributed tothe fact that she felt the need to cut herself.

IF YOU GO:■ What: Celebrate

Recovery supportgroup forself-harmers, beginsThursday.

■ When: 6 p.m. dinnerThursdays; breakout groups begin at8 p.m.

■ Where: Faith FamilyChurch, 2002 E.Mockingbird

■ Contact: The Rev.Leonard Johnson,[email protected], or FaithFamily Church,361-652-8137.Jennifer Bays,361-484-5397

■ More Info:faithfamilyvictoria.com/ministries/celebrate-recovery

■ Self-Harm info(referred byMental HealthAmerica ofGreater Houston):selfharm.net;selfinjury.com


Former cutter createsself-harm support group







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E6 — VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Saturday, October 1, 2011 VictoriaAdvocate.com


Class of ’62 meets for lunch

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOOn Sept. 10, a group of ladies from the Victoria High School Class of’62 met for lunch. The group meets every three months. Attendingthe event, front row, from left, are Sudie Johnson Beard, Karen DillonBudwine, Wilma Timme Piwetz, Patsy Ralls Price, Clara BernalGarcia, Gail Cranfill Whittington, Sue (Sudie) Tom; back row, fromleft, are Barbara Miller Volkmer, Pauline Swenson Janak, Sue TeagueNixon, Pat Montgomery Zmeskal. Ladies from VHS Class of ’62wishing to attend the gatherings may call Patsy Ralls Price at,361-575-7389 and leave your email address and phone number.


One-man artist show

CONTRIBUTED PHOTORoberta Sharp will hold her 62nd one-man show Oct. 1 through Oct.31, in the lobby of the Wells Fargo Bank, at One O’Connor Plaza.Her oil paintings, watercolors, pastels paintings featuring SouthTexas scenes, florals and still lifes featuring old Indian pots may bepurchased any time during the show. Sharp has participated inworkshops under Dalhart Windberg, Frederick, the late K. K.Simpson of Corpus Christi, Mel Casas of San Antonio College, DickTurner, Mike McCullough, Sonny Timme and many others. Sharp isa member of the Victoria Art League and displays her paintings atthe Fisken Antique shop in Austin and in Phoenix, Ariz.

“I’m not embarrassed bymy scars … they’re my testi-mony,” she said.

Using her four-year battlewith self-injury as a catalyst,Bays is spearheading aone-of-a-kind Victoria-basedsupport group for self-harm-ers.

“There isn’t anything like itin the area, definitely not inVictoria. Most self-harmershave nowhere to go,” shesaid, mentioning how diffi-cult it was to find self-injurytreatment for herself a fewyears ago.

The onset of cutting forBays began at 14, shortly af-ter moving to Victoria fromHouston.

A new friend demonstratedfor Bays how a razor bladeon skin could lessen emo-tional burdens.

“It was a razor blade likeyou’d use to shave your legs.She showed me how to cutand said it would releasepain,” Bays said. “She wasn’ta great friend. I guess I wasmixed up in the wrongcrowd.”

Her introduction to theblade five years ago, wouldlead Bays down a turbulentroad of psychiatric and med-ical treatments, hospital vis-its, more than a dozen dailyprescriptions pills, cycles ofrehab and suicide attempts –forcing her to drop out ofschool and nearly robbingher future altogether.

“I basically have aneighth-grade education,”Bays said. “I’m working to getmy GED though. I want to fin-ish school and go to college.”

Even though Bays was in-deed suicidal, attempting onat least one occasion to slither wrists, self-harmersaren’t typically trying to killthemselves.

A report from the MayoFoundation for Medical Edu-cation and Research, states“Self-injury is the act of delib-erately harming your ownbody, such as cutting or burn-ing yourself. It’s not meant asa suicide attempt. Rather,self-injury is an unhealthy

way to cope with emotionalpain, intense anger and frus-tration … with self-injurycomes the possibility of in-flicting serious and even fatalinjuries.”

Self-injury, which can in-clude cutting, burning,pulling hair, scratching, mayalso shadow numerous men-tal illnesses: eating disor-ders, depression and person-ality disorders.

It’s also prominent withteenagers, affecting childrenas young as 11 years old.

Bays said multiple doctorsthrough the years offered di-agnoses of schizophrenia,bipolar disorder, manic de-pression, ADD, ADHD,among others.

“I didn’t know you couldhave all those at the sametime,” Bays said, smiling. “Ihave to laugh about it now. Iwas so lost, I just find it a littlebit humorous. I know thatsounds terrible, but I justneeded so much help.”

At one point, Bays was con-suming 13 daily prescrip-tions, from anti-psychotics, toanti-depression pills. Themixture of prescriptions inhigh doses had severe side ef-fects, which ultimately in-creased her cutting for a timeand caused seizures andtremendous weight gain, shesaid.

So while doctors and psy-chiatrists waged a medicalwar against the cutting, Bays’family waged a spiritual bat-tle against her compulsions.

“I knew God would be theonly way she’d recover fromthis. Some of it was demonic,no doubt,” Kathy Bays, Bays’mother, emotionally recalled.“We would speak prayersover her, out loud. That’s onething my church (Faith Fam-ily) really taught me. I finallytold Satan one day, ‘I am notgiving up on this kid.’”

Kathy Bays said their fami-ly suffered while her daugh-ter was in and out of medicaltreatments. Medical billspiled up, and it seemed herdaughter wasn’t getting anybetter.

But Kathy Bays said every-thing changed when doctorsrealized her daughter had ahormone imbalance.

“My testosterone and estro-gen levels were off the charts.That can make you aggres-sive,” Bays said.

Once doctors were able toregulate her hormones, Bayswas able to drop the dailymedication dose from 13 pillsto two, and substitute a pro-gesterone cream to help bal-ance testosterone and estro-gen levels.

“I saw a difference in her af-ter three days,” Kathy Bayssaid.

Bays recognizes her recov-ery from cutting isn’t typical.She’s baffled doctors with herspeedy physical and psychi-atric recovery. That’s whyBays credits God for savingher life.

“The only reason I survivedthis was God,” said Bays, a

member of Faith Familychurch. “I’m not in recovery;that girl (who used to cut)isn’t here anymore. It’s a partof my past.”

Now that Bays is marchingproudly down recovery road,she decided it’s time to assistother self-harmers find sup-port and healing.

Bays’ self-harm supportgroup is scheduled to launchthe first Thursday in Octoberthrough Faith Family’sfaith-based Celebrate Recov-ery program. Bays will lead abreak out group for individu-als and families who need topray and dialogue aboutself-injury.

“Self-harm isn’t just for cut-ters, it’s for people who pulltheir hair out, or burn them-selves, or scratch their skin,”she said. “This group isn’t asubstitute for medical treat-ment, but it will helpself-harmers and their fami-lies be able to pray and askquestions.”

Knowing she will never beable to fully conceal herscars, Bays has decided toembrace her past, and looksat the marks as a reminder ofhow far she’s come.

“I don’t get depressed whenI look at my scars. I was justanother kid going throughlife,” she said.

Staring at her daughter,Kathy Bays tearfully said,“She really is recovered. Thisis who she was when she waslittle. Now she has the skillsand tools to help others.”


SELF-HARMERS: ‘... Most self-harmers have nowhere to go’

KATHLEEN DUNCAN/[email protected] Bays,19, speaks aboutthe negative sideeffects of themultiplemedications herdoctorsperscribed forher as hermother, KathyBays, right,listens at hergrandparents’home.

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