An estimated crowd of 3,000 women, men and teen-agers from 50 states is expected in Charleston in October for the Women's Aglow National Conference.
The conference will be held Oct. 26-29 at the Charleston Civic Center with the theme "Carry the Flame, Continue the Legacy," a celebration of a long-term tradition in a faith-based lifestyle.
Women's Aglow is a interdenominational Christian women's organization formed in 1967 by four women in the Seattle area.
Women now meet monthly in small groups in more than 144 countries around the world to promote Christian fellowship, support and spiritual growth across denominational lines.
This is the first time that Aglow has held a conference in West Virginia, according to Patti Barnes, a member of the state Aglow board. Previous conferences have been held in larger states better known for drawing national groups, such as Florida, California, Arizona and Texas.
"This is a chance for women to experience a national conference right here in our own back yard. Attending a conference can be expensive when its somewhere across the country, but this is one we can drive to," Barnes said.
The weekend event is built around a series of 28 workshops with three tracks: leadership, evangelism and prayer. Special workshops are planned for men and for teen-agers who plan to attend.
Bill Harmon, founder of Christian International Ministries, is the featured speaker during Friday and Saturday's general sessions. Harmon is known for providing a balanced, biblical approach to strengthen personal faith.
A celebration worship session on Sunday morning will feature nationally known musician and composer Don Potter, whose career with major music stars spanned two decades before he turned to worship music.
"The worship experience is special when there are thousands of people there. Last year at the conference in Florida, spontaneous worship broke out and lasted for 45 minutes. I've never seen anything like it," Barnes said.
To learn more about the conference or for a conference brochure, people can contact Barnes at (304) 363-5399 in Fairmont or Nikki Milanese in Morgantown at (304) 598-3353.
Staff writer Gail Marsh can be reached at 626-1447.