Fall is in the air, and for the folks at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church (198 Pleasant Ridge Church Rd.) in Shelby, that means it is time for a new season of "Truth & Tea Time."
For nine years now, Pleasant Ridge has offered "Truth & Tea Time" to community women. Hundreds of local ladies have enjoyed hearing words of encouragement, inspiration and humor and have relished the time to have a "girls night out" with their church friends.
"We actually have more that attend from outside of the church than from Pleasant Ridge's congregation," says organizer Teresa Davis. "A lot of smaller churches appreciate this ministry and they will reserve several tables and drive over together to the dinners."
Each of the series' six Tuesday sessions begins with a meal at 6:15 p.m. and is followed by a program that is especially designed for women ages 18 and older. A team of around 18 women and men at Pleasant Ridge assist in the ministry, and each year's series of programs brings a new slate of speakers and performers. This year's lineup includes locals as well as speakers and performers from other parts of the state.
Kristan Seaford, from Charlotte, will kick off this year's series on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. In the fall of 2013 Seaford, a 38-year-old mother of five, was struck with a catastrophic illness that resulted in her becoming a triple amputee. Today, along with her continuing mothering duties, she is also a motivational and faith-building speaker, blogger and writer. Her blog site is
The Oct. 17, 2017, program will feature Cathy Schwartz, a self-described "ding-a-ling" who finds great delight in bringing joy and laughter to her audiences. She strives to live out her life verse of Proverbs 17:22, "A joyful heart doeth good like a medicine."
Patty Waszak (www.pattywaszak.com) is a singer, songwriter, comedienne, dancer, artist, professional motivational speaker and all-around entertainer. She will bring her smooth vocal style and versatility on more than 30 musical instruments to the Nov. 28, 2017 program.
The series will break for the busy December holiday season, and then resume in the new year with Cindi Wood, author of Lifeway Publishing's "Frazzled Female" series (www.frazzledfemale.com) on Jan. 16, 2018. Wood is a speaker and Bible teacher who seeks to guide women to deal with daily stress by experiencing a practical and deep relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Feb. 20, 2018 session will feature LaLisa Carpenter from Rutherford County. Carpenter has been a nurse for more than 30 years and currently works full-time as a family nurse practitioner. Carpenter has faced many difficulties in life, including as a young woman watching her mother battle dementia for 10 years. Later, as a young mom, Carpenter herself was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. But her hardest test came when she faced the illness and death of one of her children. Carpenter will discuss how God's grace has brought her through some of the darkest days of her life.
This 2017-18 season of "Truth & Tea Time" will go out with a bang with the return of Pleasant Ridge's own "Maudine," a character brought to life by church member Norma Mott.
"Maudine joined us last October, and we could not get enough," says Davis. "In her own 'elegant southern' way she just tells it like it is. She is just hilarious, and if we are lucky, she might just sing a tune for us! It will be a great way to close out the 'Truth & Tea Time' season."
Each dinner "Truth & Tea Time" program is held on a Tuesday evening in Pleasant Ridge's Family Life Building. Child care is provided for each event and begins at 5:55 p.m. in the nursery area. Tickets are $12 for individual programs, or season tickets can be purchased for $62 for all six programs.
For more information about the "Truth & Tea Time" programs, visit the Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church web site at www.prbcshelby.org/truth-tea or call Davis at 704-477-0002.
By April Hoyle Shauf
Special to Community First Media