By Alli Davis
More than 130 women of Nashville’s First Baptist Church and other congregations gathered in the fellowship hall Thursday evening for Parable of Purses performed by Laurie Smith for the church’s ladies night.
After the opening statement by Bernie Hellums and a prayer led by Len Fletcher, the ladies sat around red cloth covered tables holding purse-themed centerpieces talking over a homemade Southern dinner catered by the Moonlight Chicks. The small catering group includes the talents of Twyla Nichols, Gaye Graham and Karen Kell of Nashville.
“This is just something that we enjoy doing,” Graham said.
The night’s door prizes included a purse donated by Power Pharmacy, two necklaces donated by Dillard’s, and a $455 Brahmin purse also donated by Dillard’s, courtesy of assistant buyer Leah Nichols who grew up attending First Baptist with her family.
“I’m just so thankful that she was able to come through for us on this. When I told Twyla what our theme was going to be about tonight, she said Leah can hook us up,” Deb Tackett said, introducing the Dillard’s items.
To win the first three prizes, Hellums listed off common and uncommon items found in purses and each lady set out the item on their table for a game called What’s In Your Purse. The participant with the most items won the Power Pharmacy donation and the necklaces went to the two runners up.
To win the Brahmin purse, each guest was given a name sticker with a number on it. The drawing took place after the game and the lucky number was drawn by guest speaker Laurie Smith.
Jennifer Giddens won the What’s In Your Purse game receiving the Power Pharmacy donation followed by a tie between Kristy Nation and Reba Young for the necklaces.
With number 101 on her name sticker, Sharon Strasner claimed the grand prize Dillard’s purse.
As the excitement of games and door prizes came to an end, Smith took the stage to perform her Parable of Purses.
Smith has been a pastor’s wife for 38 years and has been at Bentonville for almost 20 years. When her oldest child went to college, she realized her season of life had changed, and that’s when she wrote Parable of Purses to help relate what she was going through to things other women might also be experiencing.
She began with a small purse describing the experience of starting college and finding oneself by staying on God’s path.
The next season of life came with a diaper bag and the experience of having children.
Smith described what she felt women go through at home, church and with their husbands; and children and as the seasons of life changed, the purses grew. She also performed humorous songs on the piano during the show.
Smith will be performing again Nov. 5 in Texarkana.