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Countdown starts for ‘Victory in Praise’ event

The members of Tabernacle of Praise Church are counting down the days until the beginning of one of Selma’s largest annual religious gatherings.

“Victory in Praise 2004” is set for Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 11-13, at 7 p.m., at the church. In addition, noonday services will be held at the church on Thursday, Feb. 12, and Friday, Feb. 13.

The conference attracted a capacity crowd of 1,400 last year from the west central region of Alabama and the church expects a similar turnout for this year’s headliner group of conference leaders, including Bishop Brian Keith Williams of All Nations Church, Columbus, Ohio; Pastor Paula White of Paula White Ministries, Tampa, Fla.; and Dr. Yvonne Capehart of Sister Keeper Ministries, Pensacola, Fla. Tabernacle pastor is the Rev. Effell Williams Sr., who founded the church in 1988 in his home with six members. Today it numbers more than 700 and growing.

Rowena West, one of the organizers and spokesperson for the church, said that because of the popularity of the speakers it would be best to arrive early.

On Wednesday evening, Bishop Brian Keith Williams, pastor and founder of All Nations Church Inc., located in Columbus, Ohio, will speak. He is also president and founder of Network of Inner-City Breakthrough Ministries, headquartered in Columbus, and is founder and president of the Young Preachers’ Institute and the A.C.T.S. Ministers Ordination Institute. Among other engagements, Williams made an appearance in the early days of “The 700 Club,” according to West. He is an author and has been honored for community service by the mayor of Columbus and the governor of Ohio.

On Thursday evening, the speaker will be Pastor Paula White of Paula White Ministries, Tampa, Fla. She was a leader for a previous Victory of Praise gathering here and because of her popularity has been invited back. She and her husband, Dr. Randy White, are co-founders of Without Walls International Church, a thriving multiracial church of some 13,000 in Tampa. The church has extensive ministries in Tampa. She is also a host of a national TV program.

The Rev. Dr. Yvonne Capehart, is co-pastor with her husband Lee Capehart of the Believers’ Life Center in Pensacola, Fla. She is an author, gospel artist and songwriter, and is a popular speaker around the nation. She has produced two CDs and a book. She is founder of Sister Keeper International conference and magazine, a network for women in ministry. West notes that Capehart attracted a large crowd in Birmingham this last fall at the Sister Keeper conference, featuring Prophetess Juanita Bynum and Darlene Bailey.

For those desiring further information about the speakers their Web sites are: Bishop Williams (www.bkwministries.com); Pastor Paula White (www.paulawhite.org); and Dr. Yvonne Capehart (www.sisterkeeper.com).

For further information, contact (334) 875-8630 or go to the church’s the Web site www.topchurch.org.