Monday, May 5, 2008

Mercy Ministries Celebrates 25 Years of Changed Lives

This past weekend Mercy Ministries hosted a weekend of special events to celebrate 25 years of transformed lives all over the world! The entire weekend was absolutely amazing and truly a life-changing time for everyone who attended!! It was exceedingly above and beyond anything that we could have imagined and we want to give you an event by event summary with pictures from the entire weekend.

International Luncheon

Thursday, April 17th 11:00 AM
On Thursday afternoon, the Mercy Ministries International Board hosted a luncheon for our leaders from the different homes around the world who were in town for the 25th Anniversary weekend. Present were representatives from every single country where Mercy exists. It was an incredible time of coming together as Nancy Alcorn shared the vision of being one ministry with multiple locations, and everyone came together in unity as the Mercy family worldwide.

Gala
Thursday, April 17th 6:00 PM
Thursday night, the Gala was held under a large tent in the middle of LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. The Masters of Ceremonies were Kevin Mawae from the Tennessee Titans, and Shelley Breen from the contemporary music group, Point of Grace. Special Music was performed by CeCe Winans, and there was a guest appearance by supermodel, Niki Taylor and her husband, NASCAR driver Burney Lamar. Nancy Alcorn also spoke and shared the past and future vision of Mercy Ministries with many in attendance who were hearing about this ministry for the very first time. Mercy graduates shared their own stories of transformation through their time at Mercy. Hearts were deeply touched as friends and supporters of Mercy joined together for a special dinner and presentation of the countless lives that have been changed through this ministry over the last 25 years. One of the things that made the evening even more special was the over 200 former residents who were in attendance.

Former Resident Luncheon
Friday, April 18th 12:00 PM
On Friday afternoon, over 200 former residents of Mercy homes across the country attended a special reunion luncheon to honor what God has done in their lives through Mercy Ministries. The oldest resident in attendance came into the program in 1985, and the most recent graduate there left the program in February of 2008. It was such a fun time of reuniting and celebrating the incredible transformations that have taken place in their lives, as well as hearing comical stories of many things that have transpired over the past years inside the program itself. What a celebration!

Celebrate Mercy Concert
Friday, April 18th 7:00 PM
Friday night, approximately 400 Mercy girls joined over 3,000 others at the Celebrate Mercy Concert that was held at the Belmont University Curb Center. 2004 Miss America, Ericka Dunlap, hosted the evening and the featured artists included Point of Grace, CeCe Winans, Natalie Grant, Barlow Girl, Israel and New Breed, and Mandisa. Also in attendance were Kyle and Victoria McCarter, who shared their story of their daughter, Amber, who died of a drug overdose while she was on the waiting list to come in to a Mercy home. Natalie Grant sang her song, “Held”, in memory of Amber. It was a very special time for all in attendance. Israel rocked the house as we ended the night with a time of praise and thanksgiving.

Celebrate Mercy Conference
Saturday, April 19th 9:30 AM
On Saturday, the women gathered for a one of a kind women’s conference to hear our favorite speakers from around the globe--Christine Caine from Sydney, Australia, Charlotte Scanlon-Gambill from the United Kingdom, Priscilla Shirer from Dallas, TX, Holly Wagner from L.A., and our very own, Nancy Alcorn. Women were encouraged to walk in freedom and make a difference in their world. It was a powerful conference that led to over 200 people making new commitments to Jesus Christ. What a special day for all of the God-chicks!

Men’s Breakfast
Saturday, April 19th 9:00 AM
On Saturday morning, while the women were at the conference, the men gathered for a special breakfast with Ken Mansfield at the Loews Vanderbilt hotel. Ken is the former U.S. Manager of the Beatles' Apple Records and best-selling author of The White Book: The Beatles, the Bands, the Biz: An Insider's Look at an Era. The room was over-flowing as Ken shared his testimony of coming to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior while showing an exclusive behind-the-scene film of him and the Beatles. Two former residents shared their stories of transformation and there was not a dry eye in the house. The morning ended with a rockin’ Beatles set led by Randy Stonehill and Phil Keaggy. The men loved it so much that most of them commented that they would have stayed all day if they had the chance.
This weekend was an incredible time of celebrating the things that God has done and looking forward expectantly to the many more lives that Mercy Ministries will touch.
Thank you so much for the many people who joined with us this weekend to make the 25th Anniversary of Mercy Ministries an unforgettable weekend!!

Here are the links to the websites of the artists and speakers who helped to make this weekend possible:
Point of Grace— www.pointofgrace.net
CeCe Winans— www.cecewinans.com
Natalie Grant— www.nataliegrant.com
Barlow Girl— www.barlowgirl.com
Israel and New Breed— www.newbreedmusic.com
Christine Caine— www.equipandempower.org
Charlotte Scanlon-Gambill— www.alm.org.uk
Priscilla Shirer— www.goingbeyond.com
Holly Wagner— www.godchicks.com
Ken Mansfield— www.fabwhitebook.com
Randy Stonehill— www.randystonehill.com
Phil Keaggy— www.philkeaggy.com