Program to honor women for leading Christian lives

Published 4:00 am Sunday, May 21, 2023

Seven Vicksburg women are being honored as women of virtue for the Christian way they have lived their lives.

The seven — Patricia Hemphill, Trudy James-Brown, Gertrude Young, Dr. Deborah Dent, Bertha Mayfield, Martha Walker and Dorothy Miles — will be honored at the Women of Virtue Brunch on June 3 at 10 a.m., at the Ardis T. Williams Auditorium on Monroe Street.

The speaker for the brunch is Dr. Leslie F. Jones, professor of executive leadership at University of the Holy Cross in New Orleans.

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The program is the result of an idea by resident Lorann Jones-Archer, who formed a committee of young women to plan the event and select the honorees.

“We wanted to honor ladies in the community of Vicksburg that have led virtuous lives with their families, with the community, with their church families,” she said. “They have led an example of what a virtuous woman, a Christian woman, should look like.”

The committee, Jones-Archer said, wanted to take time to salute the women and celebrate their lives as positive role models for young people to emulate.

“It’s to show them that, hey, the world is full of a lot of evil but if you live right and you trust God, God will show up in your life by your actions, your works and your deeds,” she said.

The roots of her idea for the brunch, Jones-Archer said, came from growing up in Thibodaux in South Louisiana.
In South Louisiana, Jones-Archer said, there is a lot of fellowship and celebration and she wanted to bring that custom to Vicksburg.

“I think we need more of that in Vicksburg,” she said. “We need to highlight positivity and be from a Christian home.
“Being a Christian myself, I think it is important for us to celebrate women of virtue that are doing positive things to give hope and inspiration and to serve as role models for others to see it’s only what you do for Christ that will last, and that God can direct all of your steps and, uh, make you, make you stand out and communicate. It’s great to stand out in a positive way to have positive effects on people.”

Jones-Archer said she asked each member of the program committee to look at scripture and accounts of virtuous women in the Bible, “and I asked them to pick a lady in the community that has these qualities and has impacted their life in a positive way to make them make wise choices as women of God. That’s how we came up with the names.”

Tickets to the brunch are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. They can be purchased from Archer, Kimberly Nailor, LaToya Allen, Ashley James, Monica Watson or the Rev. James Archer. Tickets are also available on Eventbrite.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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