Women’s Christian Conference to be held in North Wilkesboro

Staff Report

NORTH WILKESBORO — Being able to organize and host a women’s conference has been a dream of Kristee Huffman, a former Wilkes County resident, for several years and soon her vision will be realized featuring a program of inspirational speakers, worship music, and a vendor’s market.

Tickets are now on sale for the Faith, Hope, Butterflies: Seeing God’s Beauty in Change Women’s Christian Conference to be held on Nov. 4 with the market doors opening at 9 a.m. and the program beginning at 10 a.m. at the Stone Family Center for Performing Arts in North Wilkesboro. All proceeds from the event will benefit Nichols for Kids.

“It’s actually been in the making a few years between church and work,” Huffman said. “First, a group of ladies started attending a faith based women’s conference annually that included awesome music and awe inspiring stories. Then, I had the opportunity to attend a few work events focused on women’s leadership.

“Those experiences gave me an incredible desire to share that type of experience with more women. With the support of my leader and some very special ladies, a women’s event was hosted at our local office.

“And this passion to offer women a means to connect grew more, but this time it needed to be anchored in faith. Fast forward a few years and a whole lot of prayers later, and here we are…the combination of those two experiences coming together in a women’s event called Faith, Hope, Butterflies.”

The conference will feature four women — Kristan Seaford, Melissa Spears, Tiffany Childs, and Amanda Pruitt, who will share their inspirational stories of how their faith in God helped them through unexpected changes, struggles, and challenges in their lives. Worship music will be provided by the worship band of First Light Church Worship in Hays. Ladies attending the conference will also have the opportunity to begin some early Christmas shopping at the vendor’s market.

Kristan Seaford resides in Charlotte, where she is a busy, married woman with five children, aged 4-14. She’s a speaker, writer, and licensed professional counselor who is also married to a Lutheran pastor. As a (mostly) stay-at-home mom of five young kids, she taught group exercise classes and was a runner at heart. But in November of 2013, what she thought was “just the flu” turned to a life-threatening septic shock that eventually necessitated the amputations of her hands and feet.

Seaford is thrilled share her story of a miraculous recovery and how the Lord is leading her to live as a “bionic” mom who leads an active lifestyle, maintains a grateful heart, and spreads His message of HOPE wherever she goes. To learn more about Seaford, visit her website and follow her blog at www.kristanseaford.com.

Melissa Spears is an energetic and faithful woman of Christ. In sharing with you her struggles, she hopes she will encourage other women to faithfully trust in God to bring them through real life challenges. Second, only to her personal relationship with God, Melissa’s greatest source of joy is Cory, her husband of 14 years, and being a loving mother to their children, Carson and Braxtynn.

Spears has always been blessed with a faith based life since growing up as a child in the Midwest. The frightening news that changed their family’s life 6 years ago was when they learned that their son, Carson, was diagnosed with a neuroimmune disorder, called PANS. She tried desperately to find a solution. After numerous failed attempts to find answers, Spears reached the end of her rope. She sought the Lord, beyond any previous calling, and gave Him complete control. Christ has changed her perspective on every aspect of her life. She continues to seek Him daily for wisdom, all while praising Him through this storm.

Tiffany Childs is first a woman being made more aware of her own brokenness and simultaneously more of the love God has for her in Christ Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky and spends most of her time with her husband of 19 years, Micah, and her children, Andrew, Elijah, Isaac, Eliana, and Isabella. She and her husband are also in the process of adopting from the country of Haiti.

She attends St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church and is thankful for a place to go weekly to hear the Good News of the Gospel. She is fascinated by the stories God weaves together to share His story throughout history. She is the author of Of Souls and Snowflakes, an Adoption Story, former resident of Wilkes County and the daughter of Randy and Kim Abernathy.

Amanda Pruitt is a native of Wilkes County. She is a graduate of North Wilkes High School and also Appalachian State University. She began her teaching career at Starmount High School in Yadkin County in 2002 and she is in her third year as assistant principal at West Wilkes High School. Pruitt is an active member of First Light Church with her husband of 16 years and her children.

In 2010, while expecting her second child, she encountered some difficulty that ended in a miscarriage. God began teaching her about the beauty in suffering through her oldest son Corban (who was 5 at the time). After the miscarriage, she and her husband were blessed with another biological child, Caydence and they are in the process of adopting their third child, Justin. Pruitt has learned that there is healing in sharing your story and she has a desire to encourage others to do the same.

Tickets are $25 each which includes lunch and with a group purchase of 10 tickets or more, the 11th ticket is free. For more information on ticket sales, visit the website at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/faith-hope-and-butterflies-womens-christian-conference-tickets-37024331773 or visit the Facebook page of Faith, Hope, Butterflies.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Nichols for Kids of Wilkes. The Nichols for Kids Fund was established in memory of Sandy Nichols. She was working for Wilkes County Schools as a school social worker at the time of her death in 2001. One of Sandy’s favorite parts of the job was helping students and their families with basic needs. The school social workers use the money from this fund for numerous student and family needs.

Some examples are emergency clothing needs, groceries, rent assistance, utility assistance and gas assistance. The organization has used this money to purchase cell phone minutes so a teenager who is alone most of the night would have access to a working phone. They have helped students by purchasing things needed for school like band instruments, calculators, sports physicals and assistance with field trips. Any student in WCS is eligible for help from the Nichols Fund. This fund operates by donations only.

Huffman hopes this conference will be the start of others in the future and added, “With the amazing help and unwavering support of two ladies very near and dear to my heart, Susan (Addison) and Tathel (Miller), we have worked together the last few months to bring you a day full of inspirational stories from other women, music and even a little shopping. So, if you’re curious about attending, just do it.”

Staff Report