By Kay Harms
When more than 5,300 women gathered at the Grand Canyon University Arena for a day of prayer and inspiration with Priscilla Shirer, they reaped the benefit of the prayers and efforts of a coordinating team led by an Arizona Southern Baptist pastor’s wife.
Misty Hogue, the wife of First Southern Baptist Church, Scottsdale, children and family pastor Josh Hogue, was first approached by LifeWay Christian Resources about coordinating the event team for the Priscilla Shirer Live event in July 2017. After prayerfully accepting the position, she was flown to Nashville to meet with volunteer coordinators for similar LifeWay women’s events in other states.
“The people at LifeWay mapped out the process of gathering grassroots interest in the event and they also taught us how to handle the situations that might arise as we carried out the event,” said Hogue. “They definitely equipped us for the job, but I began to realize that my greatest task would be simply to trust the Lord all the way through the process.”
Having only lived in Arizona two years at that point, Hogue even had to depend completely on the Lord’s direction to build her team.
“I began to pray for God to bring women to me,” said Hogue. “It was important to me that the team represented a diverse group of women.” When the last woman was added to the team, Hogue realized she had only known one of them previously. God had brought the others to her through sometimes surprising connections.
Hogue’s team, comprised of women of different ethnicities and denominations, began meeting monthly about a year before the October 13, 2018, event. Each woman on the steering team was responsible for additional teams of women who prayed for the event, reached out to churches with information, contacted businesses and nonprofits for support, coordinated onsite volunteers for the day of the event and provided hospitality for Priscilla Shirer and her team. Additionally, one team acted as the event’s concierge, answering questions about parking, restaurants, hotels and other logistics.
“My favorite thing about this event was that Priscilla gave the women hope in their real-life situations,” added Hogue. “For instance, she asked women to stand if they had been through difficult times in their marriages and had then seen God answer prayers and restore their marriages. Then she had women stand who were in similar hard times in their marriages right then. Those who had experienced God working in the past gathered around the hurting women and prayed for them.”
Hogue also reported that LifeWay leaders told her they had never before seen such numbers and vibrancy at a women’s event in Arizona. While the pastor’s wife was encouraged by such amazing results, she gave all the credit to the God who had proven trustworthy in each step of the planning process.