On this past weekend, Pastor Keion Henderson and The Lighthouse Church hosted the second annual “In the Wait” singles conference that welcomed over one thousand men and women. The conference began officially on Friday, June 10 at 10:00 a.m. with registration, vendors and makeovers by LAMIK Beauty. The noon session featured Angel Davis, Anthony O’Neal, Evelyn Braxton (WE TV’s “Braxton Family Values”), ChristianMingle and Pastor Keion Henderson.
The conference resumed on Saturday, June 11 at 9:00 a.m. and the energy in the atmosphere was electrifying. The morning session featured a “Real Talk” panel with panelists: Pastor Henderson, Christian comedian Nikita B., Nick Nilson, Pastor Terrance Johnson, Se7en The Poet and Kim Roxie. The unique blend of personalities among the panelists kept the audience engaged as they sometimes howled in laughter and stood to their feet in excitement. When asked if his choice in variation was purposeful, Pastor Henderson had this to say:
“Yes, because the truth is, I preach, but that’s only one part of me. I’m an eclectic person. I really wanted someone on stage to represent every portion of my personality. I love comedy so I brought Se7en in. Then I brought in Kim [Roxie] who I was actually introduced to through Velma Trayham, our publicist. Kim is an entrepreneur and I am an entrepreneur as well. Then I brought in Pastor Chris Hartwell and Pastor Terrance Johnson, because I’m a pastor. I brought in Nick Nilson because I have a diversity of friends. They aren’t just African American; they are Caucasian, Latino, etc. So you got a chance to see all of who I really am.”
Pastor Henderson understands the importance of hosting an event of this caliber for singles because he says “for the first time in the history of the world, the majority of the people in the church, or perhaps in the world, are predominantly single.”
“I read a statistic that said that 51 percent of the people in the United States of America are single. I have friends who have marriage conferences and they always ask why people don’t come and my answer is that, people aren’t getting married anymore. So since we have an influx of cohabitation, an influx of people who think they can do it all by themselves; there are so many powerful women. We have a woman as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. Women are powerful now; so women are staying single longer. So the church has to tackle this thing when women ask: ‘How do I maintain my mind, morals and values while I’m single? I don’t have a husband to satisfy the needs; so how do I stay saved during this entire process?’ I think it is extremely important to show them that there are brighter tomorrows that are offered every day”, Pastor Henderson continued.
LAMIK Beauty founder Kim Roxie, who is married, is defying and setting new standards for the modern woman. A powerful voice for women on the panel, Roxie said that she was not nervous at all weighing in on faith and relationships, among pastors.
“Actually, my dad is a minister and was a pastor before, so I’m a preacher’s kid. So, for me, I’m not intimidated at all. When you go to church, you witness people lay hands on others. When you do makeup, you lay your hands on people. Anyone who lays hands on you needs to have the Holy Spirit. So I’m a minister in what I do. Anytime you build a business, you should be building a ministry”, Roxie expressed.
Hollywood actress Meagan Good and preacher-producer DeVon Franklin were the latest speakers to join the list of panelists to be featured at “In the Wait.” Good and Franklin chose to refrain from sex during their courtship, resulting in a fruitful love and marriage.
Forward Times had the distinct pleasure of chatting with the beautiful couple about their bestselling new book, “The Wait”, courtship, soul ties and more in an exclusive interview:
Forward Times: I read somewhere, Meagan, that it was revealed to you that DeVon was your husband before you two even went on your first date. Do you think that you had to be at a place of peace to receive a vision like that?
Meagan: I was actually in a place of total mayhem. But I think that it was the willingness and the desire to want to have peace and the desire to want to have quiet. I hadn’t gotten all the way there yet but I was kind of crying out and saying, “Lord, help me! Because my life is crazy right now and I really want to make some changes and I really want to get to that place of peace.” I think that maybe having a willing heart and God knowing that was truly my desire and that I was willing to do the work is why He chose to share it at that time with me.
FT: I know that you were both living a life of celibacy before you were brought to one another. Was that something that you disclosed to one another initially? Or was that something that you shared later in courtship?
DeVon: Well, she knew about me before I knew about her. One of our mutual friends had told her in advance that that was what I was doing. But I didn’t know that about her.
M: I had just started my journey when I found out that he was already on his journey. So we never really had to talk about it. It’s always a challenging conversation for either a man or a woman because when a man tells you that [he’s celibate], women are like, “What you mean? You ain’t attracted to me?” And with women, they may feel like, “Aww man. He’s not going to stay with me” or “He’s going to cheat on me.” So, yeah, it’s definitely a challenging conversation. But it’s worth having that conversation if the person is someone you’re going to actually plan on going the distance with. And if they’re not, thank God for clarity in advance before you go down the line of wasting energy and time.
FT: In today’s society that is so sexually-driven and fast-paced, how is your message in “The Wait” being received outside of the church?
D: Great! That’s the shocker. We’re all designed for God; even if we choose to acknowledge Him or not. So there’s an aspect of truth that even if you aren’t tapped in and have professed your life to Christ, or even acknowledged God’s existence, when you hear truth, it speaks to you. And the book has truth in it. So people who wouldn’t even go to church, or may identify as Agnostic or whatever, are hearing messages from the book and it speaks to them because there’s truth in it.
Photos by WROSIV