Local church makes dresses for girls in need

Saturday evening, a curtain was drawn back in the Second Missionary Baptist Church Activity Center, revealing to the crowd of around 50 the product of months of work.


Local church makes dresses for girls in need

Saturday evening, a curtain was drawn back in the Second Missionary Baptist Church Activity Center, revealing to the crowd of around 50 the product of months of work.

Since April, members of the church joined other congregations across the state in making dresses out of pillowcases to send to young girls in need in African nations. Locally, over 200 dresses were made to go towards an Indiana-wide goal of 1,000 dresses.

“I would just love to see the faces of these girls when they get these dresses,” said Eunice Jackson, who leads the church’s sewing ministry, and oversaw the project across the state.

In all, there were five districts of Missionary Baptist churches in Indiana participating, said Jackson, with each district containing multiple churches and working towards a goal of making 200 dresses. Jackson kept in communication with all the districts as she headed up the whole process, a designation given to her by area missionary president Karen Daily.

Kokomo’s Second Missionary Baptist Church is unique, explained Pastor William Smith, in that it does not belong to one of the districts.

“Our church is not in a district, so we stand alone,” Smith said. “But we have made the most dresses, just because of community support.”

Other local churches pitched in to help, said Jackson, by donating pillow cases, money and some volunteers, with the church also receiving support from the NAACP.

All the dresses were made inside the activity center, by forming an assembly line of sorts, said Jackson, adding that for most of the project, she had four others helping her out.

“Each one of the girls did different things. Everybody couldn’t sow, some just pressed, some did the cutting and once everything came together, you see the finished project, and they are simply beautiful. A lot of prayers going up for these girls,” she said.

The end of the pillow case would be cut off, arms holes are then fashioned and a neckline is made with elastic bands and ribbons, with the end result reaching the fashionable status of a designer dress, said Jackson.

Saturday night – what Smith called the “grand reveal” – consisted of a dedicatory prayer and a fashion show with seven elementary school-aged girls from local churches showing off a sample-size of the homemade creations.

The idea for the project initially came around through working with the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in a similar project, said Smith, adding that they aren’t likely to stop now, and will be moving on to more dress-making projects. Jackson added the next goal is to make clothes for Haitian children, and to fashion shorts for boys, too.

“It’s just delight that I can just imagine some of the children … the girls, just dancing around … and feeling that they are on top of the world just because of something that we have done. That’s special,” said Smith.

From Indiana, the dresses are to be shipped to Michigan, and then overseas, said Jackson. The light fabric of the pillow cases will be a good match for a hot climate, she said, and Smith added that a project of this nature takes a certain type of sensitivity. Some of the places the dresses are going – the specific African nations were not provided – will not have washing facilities to clean stains. With that in mind, said Smith, they had to steer away from light-colored fabric.

“It’s a blessing, because we were able to sponsor the Watoto choir, which [are] … children who were refugees in Uganda, so to be able to … hear the children, they provided a concert, and to just see and witness their excitement, and then their testimonies of what they have been through, and now to really think of the fact that we’re giving back. We’re giving back to individuals who don’t have,” said Smith.

Second Missionary Baptist Church is hosting a convention for other churches within their denomination this week. It’s the 160th year of the convention, said Smith, and a part of it will be the dedication of the dresses before they are sent away. The rest of the week, said Smith, will consist of seminars and informational sessions for ministry.Read more at:plus size prom dresses | evening dresses uk