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April 20, 2014
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Guest column: Women's conference encourages, inspires and changes lives

Some may remember the TV show, “Have Gun — Will Travel.” Christa Pitcairn’s mission is “Have Word — Will Travel.”

Pitcairn, an associate pastor at Garden Valley Church in Roseburg, will be the keynote speaker at the annual G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Conference next weekend. G.R.A.C.E. stands for Greater Roseburg Area Committee for Evangelism and the theme of the conference is “A Strong Life.”

Born and raised in Roseburg, Pitcairn attended St. Joseph’s School and is a Roseburg High School graduate. She attended Seattle Pacific University in Washington, where she lived with a pastor and his wife. He became her mentor and she still considers him her spiritual father today.

While Pitcairn planned to go to law school, it was her mentor who encouraged her to consider becoming a preacher. At the time she wasn’t aware of women preachers.

“Growing up I’d only seen men as pastors,” she said.

She began to serve in ministry with her mentor sharing the speaking and preaching. She moved to Sydney, Australia, where she graduated from Hillsong International Leadership. She returned to the U.S. and started and directed a school of ministry in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Later, she traveled as a speaker and preacher, like a circuit preacher of old. Longing to return to the Pacific Northwest, she took a sabbatical in 2012 to visit family in Roseburg and soon was offered a position as one of the pastors at the Garden Valley Church. Although not as often, she continues to travel as a speaker and preacher as well.

Pitcairn said she is grateful for her spiritual heritage and journey. She was raised a Catholic, attend a Methodist college and is an Assembly of God pastor. G.R.A.C.E. Ministries is interdenominational as well. All are welcome to attend the free women’s conference. Registration is encouraged for conference, lunch and child care on Saturday.

Those who attend the G.R.A.C.E. conference will be encouraged and empowered by Pitcairn. She loves being a woman and will share the value of being a woman and how much God loves women.

Saturday afternoon workshops by qualified presenters are: Restoration; Procrastination; Jump-Start Your Walk with God; How to Write Your Testimony; and How to Write a Devotional.

G.R.A.C.E. Ministries, a free women’s conference, began in 1987. At that time Douglas County suffered from difficult times. The lumber business was declining, there was a gas crunch, businesses were closing and folks were out of work. Women in the community needed hope and couldn’t afford to travel out of the area to attend an inspirational conference.

Women today still need hope and encouragement.

B.J. Bassett is an author, teacher and speaker. Her books include “Lily” and “A Touch of Grace — The G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Story.” She also co-authored “My Time with God” with more than 55,000 copies sold. She can be reached at bassett106@charter.net.

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The News-Review Updated Apr 20, 2014 12:04AM Published Apr 20, 2014 12:04AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.