“I don’t know if it’s because I was in Kentucky last week for the International Women’s Convention, but I feel like we’re experiencing our own Triple Crown today,” declared Mother Freda Benjamin to the attentive congregation. “It’s Pentecost Sunday, our First Lady’s birthday and we’re celebrating First Lady’s Day!”
With that bold declaration, Holiness Tabernacle honored First Lady Vivian Valdez Pruitte – a great woman of faith – during her 5th Annual First Lady’s Day celebration on Sunday, June 8th. Special guests, Supervisor Diana Banks of Maryland Central Jurisdiction and Supervisor Nellie Townes of the First Jurisdiction of Virginia, joined in the celebration.
Serving as the afternoon emcee and chairperson, Missionary Andrea Mabry exhorted the people to praise an “awesome” God and thank Him for blessing the church with an awesome First Lady. After prayer and the reading of favorite scriptures, Pastor Eddie B Pruitte escorted First Lady Pruitte, who was all smiles as she took in the beautifully decorated sanctuary and standing ovation from her Holiness Tabernacle family.
Having just completed seven days of prayer and fasting, the service seemed particularly saturated by the presence of the Holy Ghost. Ushering in a spirit of worship, the praise team led the congregants in “Lord You’re Mighty” and truly rocked the house.
“We can worship God at Holiness Tabernacle,” exclaimed Sister Sareatha Majors who offered a welcome to those in attendance.
Following Sister Majors’ greeting, several members shared words on behalf of their First Lady.
Representing the Christian Education Department, Elder Mabry started off the reflections. “One reason Pastor is such a great pastor is because of Mother Pruitte,” he stated, to which Pastor Pruitte offered a good-natured laugh in agreement.
“Mother Pruitte is a woman dedicated and fully committed to God,” said Sister Valerie Miller representing the Women’s Department. “And not only are we praying for you, but we’ve got your back!”
Even the youth shared words of appreciation. “[Mother Pruitte] is really good at praying – she can pray for a long time!” said Brother Victor Merriweather with sincerity, even as the saints chuckled in the response.
A humorous, modern day skit retelling the story of the woman with the issue of blood was performed by Minister Andre Powell, Brothers Ariante De La Cruz, John Mabry, Eryck McCown and Sister Delia Pruitte, and was directed by Sister DeAnna Pruitte. Following the enactment, Supervisor Townes offered words of wisdom. “You are a good example of a pastor’s wife!” she said to First Lady Pruitte. Mother Townes went on to say that she’s known First Lady to be a nice young lady and woman of prayer.
After blessing First Lady financially and showering her with presents that consisted of special gifts, cards, baked goods, flowers and more to the lady of the house, it was time for the Word of God from none other than Supervisor Banks.
Speaking on the importance of having faith in God, Supervisor Banks started off by giving each person a tiny mustard seed, a symbol coming directly from Matthew 17:20 where Jesus told his disciples that if they had “faith as a grain of mustard seed,” nothing would be impossible for them.
“God gave every man and woman a measure of faith,” she exclaimed with holy boldness. “It is our faith and the precious blood of Jesus Christ that save us.” She went on to expound that faith anoints us to produce the righteous fruit that God requires of His people.
After a powerful Word, the people of God were invited to the altar for prayer where the Spirit of God moved mightily and blessed in an awesome way. When all was said and done, it was time to hear from the honoree.
“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my Holiness Tabernacle family for the love you have shown unto me,” exclaimed First Lady Pruitte with deep emotion. She went on to thank “the love of [her] life,” Pastor Pruitte, and all of the guests and friends who shared on her special day.
It is not likely that many will forget this special service, for the members of Holiness Tabernacle thought it not robbery to honor First Lady Pruitte, a great woman of faith!
Members, friends and special guests of Holiness Tabernacle Church Of God In Christ came out in throngs to honor the fragrance of the church, First Lady Vivian Pruitte, on September 4, 2013.
The sanctuary was adorned in a dazzling array of silvers, orchids and shades a pink. The women of the church wore hues that matched the prescribed colors of the day, showing their support to First Lady Pruitte in grand style.
The special day started off with words of reflections given by Elder Eugene McCown, Sister Sereatha Majors, Sister Marry King and Elder John Mabry II. After their words of acknowledgement, words of love were lavished upon Mother Pruitte by those closest to her – her family. First, the Pruitte women provided levity by recounting the resourcefulness of First Lady Pruitte. “She’s a jack of all trades and has worn every hat in the church,” said Sister Delia Pruitte speaking on behalf of her sisters and First Lady Pruitte’s granddaughter. “Her silence speaks much louder than her voice.”
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Brother Ariante De La Cruz, a purity class student, offered youthful expressions. “[Mother Pruitte] is a woman of God. She stands by her husband and she loves the youth. I thank God for a woman like that in my life.”
Another Purity Class member, Sister Tamika Alexander, provided words of thanks. “Thank you for being an example the purity girls can look up to. We all love you.”
Finishing off the words of reflection were her son-in-law, Deacon Napoleon Paxton, and her grandson, Brother Jeremiah Paxton. “It’s been an honor being her grandchild,” said Brother Jeremiah. “I love her with all my heart and I hope she thinks the same of me. I love you grandma!”
“I needed to be here to celebrate Mother Pruitte,” declared Deacon Paxton. “I thank God for you to Mother Pruitte. When I look at my wife, I see a lot of you in her.”
The supervisor of Maryland’s Central Jurisdiction, Missionary Diane Banks, and the first lady elect, Mother Butts, shared some special words with the congregation about the woman they’d recently met, who felt like a long-time friend.
“It’s my first time meeting [First Lady Pruitte] and it feels like I’ve known her for years,” said Mother Butts. “…keep taking care of her. Keep holding up her and Pastor’s arms. Keep on keeping on.”
“You’ve got a sanctified woman. A jewel. A priceless jewel,” said Mother Banks, who also serves as secretary of the National Advisory Board of the Church Of God In Christ. “She’s a pattern of good work. A pattern is something you want to emulate and follow. So ladies follow this pattern.”
Mother Banks went on to further say, “She’s prayerful. She’s faithful and she’s anointed. She’s a Titus 2 woman.”
Flowers and gifts were delivered to First Lady Pruitte from young and old alike following the beautiful words of expression. Before honoring his wife, Pastor Eddie Pruitte, recognized the Mother’s Board who stood behind First Lady Pruitte and thanked Missionary Andrea Mabry for spearheading this year’s annual day. He also thanked his mother-in-law saying, “If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t have my wife.” He then presented First Lady Pruitte with two dozen exquisite roses.
After the inundation of gifts and words of love, First Lady Pruitte and the congregation settled down to hear a mighty Word of God from special guest speaker Mother Amelda Jones. Anticipation filled the room as the celebration came on the heels of a three-day revival Mother Jones conducted at the church the week prior. Mother Jones encouraged the church to hold on to the holiness way of life. The time for conforming to the world was over.
“We must pursue holiness with everything we have in our being,” she urged the congregants. “Because of holiness, you shall not be moved,” she spoke directly to First Lady Pruitte. “That is the will of Christ Jesus concerning Mother Pruitte.”
The service ended with final words from First Lady Pruitte who expressed her love and gratitude to the special guests, Mother Jones, the Holiness Tabernacle Church family and her husband. With such a woman of God by the pastor’s side – one with a spirit to pray without ceasing and is the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman – Holiness Tabernacle will surely uphold the legacy of true holiness.
will be honored September 8 at 4 p.m. during
Holiness Tabernacle’s Annual First Lady.
The guest speaker is internationally renowned speaker,
author and mentor, Mother Amelda Jones of New Life in Christ Interdenominational Church.
Come join us as we recognize a mighty,
anointed woman of God who is near and dear to our hearts.
Her children arise up , and call her blessed ; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Pastor Eddie B Pruitte, Jr. and the entire Holiness Tabernacle COGIC family encourage you to come and celebrate with us on our First Lady Day this Sunday, November 18 at 4:00 p.m. Our theme for this grand occasion is "And She Shall Be Blessed" (Proverbs 31:28-29; Deuteronomy 28:3,6). The speaker will be Mother Nellie M. Townes, Supervisor of Women for the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia Church Of God In Christ.
First Lady Vivian Pruitte is a humble woman of God. She is very dedicated, loyal, loves people and loves teaching God's Word. This mother of four girls, one son-in-law, and two grandchildren fully supports her husband and his vision for HTC.
We praise God for such a crown jewel. Come out and join in the celebration our our very own, First Lady Pruitte.
Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
Pastor Eddie B Pruitte, Jr. and the entire Holiness Tabernacle COGIC family encourage you to come and celebrate with us on our First Lady Day this Sunday, June 26 at 11:00 a.m. Our theme for this grand occasion is "A Diadem in the Master's Hand" (Isaiah 62:1-3, central verse 62:3). The speaker will be Mother Amelda Jones, who is a member of New Life in Christ Interdenominational Church in Lebanon, Illinois.
First Lady Vivian Pruitte is a humble woman of God. She is very dedicated, loyal, loves people and loves teaching God's Word. This mother of four girls, one son-in-law, and a grandson fully supports her husband and his vision for HTC.
We praise God for such a crown jewel. Come out and join in the celebration our our very own, First Lady Pruitte.
Service theme rings true: Chosen – An Elect Women of God
Closed door meetings planned months in advance. Invitations sent to extended family and far away friends. Even a long distanced phone call to the west coast were all part of the undertaking to surprise and celebrate Mother Vivian Pruitte on First Lady Day, Sunday, June 13 – a first at Holiness Tabernacle!
“You’ve been faithful, you’ve been true. And you’ve done all that you can do. Don’t the lyrics to that song describe our First Lady?” Mother Benjamin asked the congregation, already nodding their head in agreement. “We may be 11 years behind,” she continued turning to Mother Pruitte, “but for your faithfulness, it is your time!”
Surprises were the order of the day and the first came with the entrance of Pastor Frank Smith and the entire New Hope Church Of God In Christ church.
“It’s nice to see you Elder Smith!” exclaimed Pastor Pruitte as the congregation came through the door and Mother Pruitte looked on in awe. Unbeknownst to her, Mother Thelma Gatlin, member of New Hope and Dean of Workshops for the First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia, was the invited guest speaker.
While the Sunday morning service may have been to show love to First Lady Pruitte, all glory and praise for the day belonged to God! Aspiring Missionary Howard invoked the presence of the Lord through prayer and the Praise Team led the church in collective worship and adoration of our King.
Next on the program came an opportunity for saints and friends to share recollections on experiences shared with the First Lady. Representatives from several church departments, as well as family and former students, offered words of expression and love.
“She has a lot to do with my growth in the church,” began Brother Rowe on behalf of the Men’s Department. He went on to say that her influence in his life helped to draw him closer to his own pastor.
Mother Cassidy, head of the Mother’s Department, spoke next on behalf of the Women’s Department.
“Our First Lady is a virtuous woman!” she exclaimed. “She forgets about herself and tends to the needs of HTC. She is a blessed woman of God… I needed to be here today to [support] my first lady!” Indeed, both Mother Cassidy and Mother Brown changed personal travel arrangements just so that they could participate in the festivities.
Sharing words on behalf of the youth and several of the young women, Sister Danielle Benjamin spoke about how they appreciated her wisdom and spiritual guidance. Next Sister Delia Pruitte, the second eldest Pruitte daughter, offered her appreciation through prose.
“To my mother, the one who beautifies our house,” she began, “…the one who, like an octopus, can be in eight places at once!” With her familiar touch of humor, Delia shared why her mother meant so much to her and the immediate family.
Though her extended family wasn’t able to attend, her older brother, Michael “Gus” Valdez, wrote a letter to Mother Pruitte on behalf of their family.
“My sister is the epitome of motherhood,” the letter began. Bro. Valdez went on to tell of his appreciation of his childhood playmate, noting that he was glad that she, “made good choices in life.” With the knowing sensitivity that only a sibling could give, he ended his letter by sharing how much he loved her.
If you know First Lady Pruitte, you know that she loves the Old Testament scriptures and teaches a class as part of the C.H. Mason Bible College. In an open letter Mother Ruby Carter, a former student, called First Lady her, “mentor, scholar and a great woman of the Lord. I asked God for a teacher of His Word,” the letter continued, “and He sent me your way.”
Just when it seemed all words of appreciation had come to an end, it was a special call made from the sunny coasts of California that really took First Lady’s breath away.
“I want to extend commendations to Pastor and Holiness Tabernacle for honoring their First Lady,” said Mother Barbara McCoo Lewis, Jurisdictional Supervisor for the First Jurisdiction of Southern California, over the speaker phone.
With a shaking hand gripping the receiver, it was apparent that Mother Pruitte was shocked and excited beyond words. For the next few minutes, the entire congregation listened in on a conversation between the two women – the elder asking about the daughters, offering heartfelt congratulations and dispensing godly counsel to the younger.
“My word for you is to stay in that secret place,” Mother Lewis encouraged before she said goodbye. “May God bless you richly!”
With ease, the order of the service continued with a nod toward First Lady’s appreciation of various cultural expressions. Bringing a unique experience to the service, Sister Dei Nikoi brought the role of the Queen of the Night to life through an operatic performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”
Known throughout the Jurisdiction and beyond for the awesome way they minister through song, the New Hope Choir prepared hearts with “He Touched Me.” Indeed, the saints were more than ready by the time Dean Gatlin stepped to the pulpit with a prayer that she would hide behind the cross and allow God to simply use her as the vessel to speak to His people.
“My thought for today is ‘The Last of the Giants: The Lord Said Fear Him Not,’” began Dean Gatlin. “Giants may be in our home, on our job, in our church or on the street, but regardless of where we encounter them, we shouldn’t be afraid of them.”
Dean Gatlin went on to say that when saints are easily discouraged by the cares of this world, there is something lacking on their part. “We need to stop pretending.” she said. “Stop putting on a show and be a saint!”
It was truly a day of rejoicing as the people of God came together to honor the lady of the house and at the conclusion of the service, Mother Pruitte offered her heartfelt thanks. “Everything that went on today was such a surprise!” she exclaimed. “You went over and beyond anything I was expecting.”
First Lady’s Day at Holiness Tabernacle was a great success! As the Lord continues to use Mother Vivian Pruitte as His chosen and elect woman of God, her church family will continue to show their love and support at every opportunity in the years to come.
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy
Proverbs 31:10, 20
Pastor Eddie B Pruitte, Jr. and the entire Holiness Tabernacle COGIC family invite you to worship with us as we celebrate the life of our esteemed and humble First Lady, Mother Vivian Pruitte this Sunday, June 13 at 12:30 p.m. Our theme for this occasion is “Chosen: An Elect Woman of God” (Isaiah 43:10, I Peter 2:4, I Peter 2:9, Proverbs 31:10, Proverbs 31:20, Proverbs 31:25 and Proverbs 31:31).
Saved, sanctified and Holy Ghost filled, First Lady Pruitte humbled herself to the call that was placed upon our Pastor’s life to build God a house, being loyal and dedicated to the work.
Our First Lady loves the Lord with all her heart and is an avid teacher of the unadulterated word of God. A dynamic orator, she works in many facets of the ministry, locally and jurisdictionally. She leads the HTC Women’s Department, Prayer and Bible Band, serves on the Trustee Board, sings in the choir, serves as the Asst. Dean of Workshops for the First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia and works wherever her hands find themselves aiding in the vineyard.
We are excited that the Lord has blessed us with an anointed woman of God who encourages, inspires, motivates, teaches and sincerely loves people! She is a jewel, far precious than rubies, who continues to be steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. When God said “Chosen: An Elect Woman of God,” He made it known that First Lady Pruitte is a diadem in the Master’s hands.
Everyone is invited to partake in this celebration with your love offerings, gifts, cards and words of inspiration. We hope to see you there!
|1* Pastoral Night at 7:30 pm
||2* State Music Summit all day
* 5th Quarter at 10:00 pm
|3* State Music Summit all day
|4* Sunday Service at 9:15 am
* Pastoral Anniversary at 4:00 pm
|5||6* Prayer and Bible Band at 7:30 pm
||7||8* Pastoral Night at 7:30 pm
|11* Sunday Service at 9:15 am
* Pastoral Anniversary at 11:00 am
|12* Food Distribution at 12:00 pm
||13* Prayer and Bible Band at 7:30 pm
||14||15* Pastoral Night at 7:30 pm
|18* Sunday Service at 9:15 am
||19* Bishop Thomas Birthday all day
||20* Prayer and Bible Band at 7:30 pm
||21||22* Pastoral Night at 7:30 pm
||23||24* State Leadership Meeting at 11:00 am
|25* Sunday Service at 9:15 am
||26* Food Distribution at 12:00 pm
||27* Prayer and Bible Band at 7:30 pm
||28||29* Pastoral Night at 7:30 pm
||30||31* Hallowed One\'s Day all day
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