As more than 900 participants gathered at Ridgecrest Conference Center for annual “Missions Extravaganza” of Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina Friday afternoon, some got a surprising greeting: the ceiling of the imposing four story porch in front of Pritchell Hall collapsed and came crashing down on the porch’s trademark rocking chairs.

Fortunately, no one was injured, other than one man my wife saw who suffered scratches to his hands while using them to shield his head. Jan and my son Samuel were attending the conference, and Samuel happened to be inside, looking out the window, when the ceiling came down. Jan took the picture I’ve posted here, which I stole from her blog, where you can read about their experience. You can click on the picture to see a larger version.

The Biblical Recorder‘s Diana Cagle was also on hand, and you can find her report here.

The meeting theme of “Called to Love” was portrayed through both workshops and worship. Haven Parrot of Kannapolis (right) was the proclaimer, while Rosalie Hunt of Alabama enacted dramatic monologues relating the pioneering work of women in missions.

Delores (“Dee”) Thomas of Peachland (left) , who had previously served as first vice-president, was elected president of WMU-NC for the coming year.

A series of unfortunate scheduling issues put the Missions Extravaganza, the NC Baptist Men‘s mission conference, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina meeting on the same weekend.

[Photos by Jan Cartledge]

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