DALLAS -- Blissful women's voices echoed across the walls of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas on June 28 as the Singing Women of Texas (SWOT) commemorated their 20th anniversary with a free concert.
Over 200 women from eight SWOT chapters across the state gathered together for a three-day event of fellowshipping and rehearsing together before Saturday night's concert where family members, friends and fans packed inside the church.
Uniformly dressed in black attire, the women performed 12 gospel ballads, a combination of songs chosen by the directors from each chapter.
An offering taken up during the service will benefit Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR). The audience, touched by a video testimony of a West, Texas resident who received help from TBDR in rebuilding her home, contributed more than $3,000 to aid in future disaster recovery efforts.
"We are just so excited that the offering was as much as it was," said Marla Bearden, disaster recovery specialist. "The whole night was such a great night. The Lord really blessed it."
Eileene Moss, retiring director of the Panhandle Chapter of SWOT, received recognition for her service as being one of the group's founding directors.
Also receiving recognition was Karen Witcher, Texas Baptists' events coordinator for the music and worship department, for her retirement from service in helping plan numerous SWOT events as well as two mission trips.
"They have great hearts for ministry," Witcher said of the women she's been privileged to work with over the years. "A lot of them are school teachers and ladies that just love to sing about the Lord. It is a ministry to them and for them just as much as any other ministry that we have, and we're glad that we're able to sponsor them."
SWOT has provided a ministry opportunity for Texas women to proclaim the gospel through music since 1994. Each chapter meets together once a month for rehearsals and hosts concerts for churches in their area.
The women also recorded their music during the three-day event. The cd, set to be released Sept. 1, will include all of the songs performed during Saturday's concert including "Laudamus Te," which was sung at the first SWOT concert 20 years ago.
The eight chapters of the SWOT include the North Central (Dallas/Ft. Worth), Permian Basin, Southeast (Houston), South (San Antonio), West Texas (Lubbock), West Central (Cisco), Panhandle (Amarillo), and Central (Austin) chapters.
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