Friday, April 17, 2015
"They are Just Like Us": Ministers' Fashion Show in Johnson City
Local ministers were the featured attractions at the first annual Ministers Fashion Show in Johnson City.
The idea of a fashion show focusing on local preachers, grew from an idea at the St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church in Johnson City, where Barbara Watterson is a member.
"We were meeting at the church one day in the Missionary Society," she says, "trying to figure out 'what kind of program could we do that we haven't done before?' I thank God that the idea just popped into my head 'well, why don't we do a fashion show with the ministers.. maybe let them model their finest clothes?' The other church members looked me like I was crazy. I reminded them that we were looking for something that had never been done before."
Watterson says, a few minutes went by, "and then something must have clicked. Somebody said 'well, let's try it, let's go for it."
"I guess the rest is fashion history."
"We see them when we need prayer, we see them when they're preaching the Gospel," Watterson says, "we see them comforting the families at funerals, and joining couples in holy matrimony. But we never see them as people, as human beings. Don't forget.. that was the beauty of Jesus. He was the Son of God, sent down from Heaven to walk among us, to live among us, to be One with us. He rejoiced with us, He cried with us, He suffered with us. He did that while he was ONE of us."
"Our ministers are people, too," she continued. "They want to get out and be amongst the people and be involved in things in the community, but we don't ever think to ask them. We don't ever want to bother them with things in the community because we don't think they would be interested, but they just might be. They have lives, too. I think it's beautiful when we can showcase our ministers in a positive light away from the church."
The fashion show was just the ticket for that.
To the delight of the audience, he proclaimed that he "is about His Father's Business."
Ghana is one of Africa's most developed countries, with a predominately Christian religious background, with Muslim also practiced.
The audience was mesmerized by the strikingly beautiful suit modeled by the Middlesboro minister.
The audience was astounded and excited to learn that the Bishop "made everything that he wore in the fashion show."
The suit is by Alan Lebow, tailored for Blakely Mitchell.
The special shoes are from Allen Edmons by Winhall.
Pastor Reddick considers himself "fit to be a part of the crowd."
His hat was fashioned by Lite Felt, and the custom shoes were made by Nunn Bush.
Reverend Snapp took time to thank the audience for coming out and more so, for allowing all of the preachers to be themselves. That was representative of all the members of the clergy in the fashion show.
"We didn't want ministers playing ministers," says Watterson. "These are just lay people, hard workers in their churches. We wanted to have a little levity that folks could identify with, during the break while the ministers changed into their other fashions."
All in all, a wonderful, different kind of gathering that Watterson wants to do again, given how well received this first event was. She wants to involve the women leaders in the churches for the next one.
"Our ministers looked so good in their robes and their dress outfits," she says. "They're sharp dressers because of their upbringings."
Given the weather reschedulings, "the Lord just makes a way," she proclaimed. "If He wants it done, it just gets done in His Way. The people enjoyed the fellowship and seeing their ministers as people."
"Let them be in the limelight.. let them be seen as people just like everybody else."