Launched in June 2013, our women’s ministry, Beauty for Ashes, is open to all women 18 and older. The name, taken from Isaiah 61:3, signifies God’s redemption in women’s lives. The ministry’s director, Veronica (Roni) Williams, selected this name for the ministry because she desires it be a place where women can experience healing from and restoration with God.
Roni explains, “Beauty for Ashes is birthed out of my personal experience of being in a dark place for many years, eventually trusting and allowing God to heal me. Because of that, I want to share that with other women.” While this ministry is open to all women, Roni wants it especially to be a safe place for hurting women, some of whom, she says, “don’t even know they’re hurting.”
Her vision comes out of Isaiah 61:1 – that when women get the revelation that the Spirit of the Lord is upon them and He has anointed them, they are able to receive His healing and restoration. Colleen Chamberlin, the ministry’s co-director, adds, “our heart is for women to fully learn who they are in Christ, to be raised up and empowered to embrace all that God has for them, to be the ‘oaks of righteousness’ described in Isaiah 61:3.”
The Beauty for Ashes vision fits into the church’s vision of connecting life to God in that, once a woman gets a revelation of who God is and how much He loves her, it connects her life to God and gives her the tools to help others do the same. Their ultimate goal, according to Roni, is to “witness testimonies of the healing of women through this ministry.”
Roni and Colleen currently have plans to hold monthly women’s gatherings, alternating between fellowship events and teaching workshops. In addition, they are looking to establish a women’s prayer team available to minister to women, add women’s Bible study groups, and hold annual events to celebrate what God is doing in the lives of our women. If you are interested in learning how to connect with other women at Bridge, please leave a message for Roni by calling or emailing our church office.
~Veronica (Roni) Williams, a native of Brooklyn, NY, moved to Maryland in 1994 when her husband’s job was transferred to the area. They have six children and eight grandchildren. While Roni has served in many roles in the church since becoming a Christian in 1991, shining through each role has been her compassion for people, especially for women. In her desire to help women, Roni has been certified through a church training program as a lay counselor.
~Roni’s favorite hobbies are photography, cooking, entertaining, and reading. She is also a budding playwright, writing on themes of hope and healing.
~Roni loves that the Spirit of the Lord is always present at Bridge Church and that ministry is done by the leading of Holy Spirit, which changes people’s lives. She also loves the fellowship and love that people show here.
~Colleen Chamberlin and her husband Bill, Bridge Church’s Senior Pastor, came to Annapolis in 2000 to accept the pastorate at this church, which was then known as Annapolis Assembly of God. They have four children and three grandchildren. Colleen brings her creativity and love for people into every role she has held at our church, which has been quite a few as we’ve grown over the years. Working with women is a natural outlet for her artistic talents and compassionate heart.
~Colleen’s favorite hobbies are cake decorating, creating works of art, playing board games, hanging out at the pool and beach, and spending time with her beautiful grandbabies.
~Colleen loves the way the people of Bridge Church truly care for each other. She and Pastor Bill are full of faith that God will fulfill the amazing vision He has given them for our church and the city of Annapolis.