WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. The garments were exquisite, the models were engaging, and the atmosphere filled with memories of the days when Redemptive Life Fellowship burst on the scene in the 90’s with fashion and elegance, combined with ministry. On this occasion of the 2019 WINNERS Reunion World Fashion Show and Pre-Mother’s Day Brunch, it was reminiscent of the days when Pastor Brenda Ray opened the very first black owned boutique in the esteemed Palm Beach Mall. April 27 was an ode to those history-making days.
And it was also a testament to the amazing creative giftings of Ray, the founder of the WINNERS Group and the church’s spiritual mother and co-founder. Though she exudes style and elegance always, it’s the anointing on her life that commands the attention. A nationally acclaimed prophet, prayer warrior, author, teacher and pastor, she has always been a trailblazer with her prophetic insights and ability to foresee events such as the devastation of 9/11. And it was evident with this occasion that she had again utilized her prophetic gifting to inspire something great.
“This was not just another fashion show! This was a move of God,” she quipped. Indeed it was, according to many of the 300 or more guests in attendance. Local and national designers were eager to participate in the historic undertaking. Some garments were worth upwards of $6000.
The show featured Designs by Sherie L. Nevett; Steven Smith, fashion connoisseur who presented Designs by CHEVAL; On and Off the Runway Boutique-Designs by Special Guest Joyce Sheffield; and Haute Couture Designs by Alberta Hollis, a member of the church. Many of the models were also members of the church both past and present.
There was at least one physically challenged model, and there was also a dance selection by the Jeaga Dolls/Jasmine Robinson. And a special presentation of the church’s Junior Debutantes and Squires was showcased. Pastor Brenda served as commentator and Mistress of Ceremonies.
As usual with Ray, the show was much more than the beautiful garments worn. It was about evangelism, Ray stresses. The W.I.N.N.E.R.S. acronym even is significant. It stands for “WOMEN (and Men) in NEIGHBORHOODS NETWORKING EFFECTIVELY REDEEMING SOULS.”
But it is not new for Ray to combine fashion and fun with a higher purpose. She did it previously in Dallas. “I had a boutique in Dallas and did fashion shows to help needy families. Entrepreneurship is marketplace ministry. Everything is not held in a pulpit setting. They can come to a fashion show and be touched by the ministry,” she exclaimed.
Opening the first black owned store in the area in a major mall was groundbreaking. The mall-store has closed, but its significance remains.
“Yes, it was part of my destiny, but what it did was show that it can be done,” said Ray.
“It was a paradigm for others.” Proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships, domestic violence awareness, food bank distribution, and families in crisis. Ray is known world-wide for her giving and even puts money in the hands of students everytime they return from college –and not just Redemptive students. When asked why she gives so profoundly, she said it’s who she is. “I believe it’s in my DNA to give to people in need.
There were nine of us and it’s just part of my make-up. I do it because it brings me peace.”
Under her direction, His Daily Bread Food Pantry feeds more than two thousand families each month.
For the month of May she is putting the focus on women’s empowerment with guest speakers every Sunday at the 10am service and Tuesdays at 7pm throughout May. Women will deliver the message as well as speak on prayer, prophesying and even the need for exercising and vacationing. All are welcome.
Bishop Harold Calvin Ray is the founder and senior pastor of Redemptive Life Fellowship, 2101 Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach.
For more information or for a video of the 2019 WORLD K REUNION FASHION SHOW call the church at 561-429-3586. Proceeds benefit the charities listed above.