Former Mrs. America to speak at new Columbiana church

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – A former Mrs. America winner will participate later this month in two events at Harvest Place church.

Lisa Christie, who was crowned in 1997, will speak to the church’s women’s ministry group April 21 and model in a fashion show April 23 to promote confidence and self-esteem in girls.

Harvest Place Pastor Wales Williams Jr. said the public is invited to both free events at the church’s new building at 14 West Lane Drive.

“She’s going to tell some of her personal testimony about some of the things she went through after she got the crown,” said Williams, who first met Christie at a conference in Birmingham several years ago.

“The fact that she’s willing to come from New York to talk about her testimony, it’s a blessing,” he said.

According to her website, Christie was involved in an abusive relationship and went through “an eight-year journey of being robbed of her children, her house, falsely arrested, raped, court trial after court trial, defamed, taken for every dollar.”

Williams said he’s expecting 100 or more people to attend the April 21 talk starting at 6:30 p.m.

Church member Bonnie Williams is coordinating the fashion through Dream Girls Allowed, a non-profit organization she created to help promote confidence and self-esteem in girls and women.

The fashion starts at 1:30 p.m. on April 23 and will feature 10 to 15 middle and high school aged girls modeling clothes donated by Stein Mart, Williams said.

Christie will emcee and sing and model during the show, Williams said.

Harvest Place church was established a year ago. Members gathered for services split between Columbiana and Jemison until the church moved into the new building in Columbiana a month ago.

“Many people don’t know we’re here,” Williams said. “This church is here and hoping to become an addition to Columbiana as a beacon of light along with the other churches.”