Christian women gathered at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel last week to kick off a new year for Protestant Women of the Chapel.
More than 130 ladies from Killeen, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Fort Hood and surrounding communities united for worship and to enroll in Bible study courses for the next 12 weeks.
PWOC is the official women’s ministry of Protestant military chapels and functions under the authority of the military installation chaplain.
The group meets from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel, located at 33rd Street and Battalion Avenue.
“We are so happy to have so many women here. We ran out of seats,” said Shawna Niles, PWOC president. “God was telling me we needed to love each other more (in this community). So, our vision for this PWOC year is ‘Love One Another More.”
PWOC is offering 10 different Bible studies from various authors including Beth Moore, Max Lucado and Kay Arthur. Topics include godly parenting, Christian marriage, women of the Bible and increasing the deepness of your faith.
“After lots of prayer, I selected books that spoke to me. I was called to teach and help the ladies,” said Janeissy Armstrong, one of the Bible study facilitators this semester. “Military women need to know they have support in PWOC. I want to help them grow in their faith and Bible knowledge.”
PWOC activities are funded through designated offerings given by military chapels and through the budgets allocated for chapel services.
Bill Shelnutt, Fort Hood’s director of religious education, said PWOC is a necessary program because Fort Hood has so many (soldiers) at war.
He said PWOC is where the ladies can come to be loved and get some respite by having their children taken care of and focus on their spiritual well-being.
“There are good Bible studies and a sense of love when you walk in. PWOC reaches women no one else can. I am looking for things here that are going to affect this generation, its children, and even history,” said Shelnutt, who became involved in PWOC as an Army chaplain in 1985.
In addition to selecting their Bible studies Aug. 27, women also were introduced to the new board leadership, enjoyed lunch and made new acquaintances.
“No matter what post you go to, you can come to PWOC and find a friend,” said Wendy Wilkerson of Harker Heights. “You have a sisterhood here. We are all military women who love the Lord. I am excited for the new year.”
Andrea Lewis-Byrum of Copperas Cove agreed. “Although I knew no one here, when I pulled into the parking lot, I thought, ‘I am home.’”
Women of all denominations and faiths are welcome to participate in PWOC, and free childcare is provided.
Books for the Bible studies are provided at no cost.
For more information, go to the Fort Hood PWOC Facebook page, where all of the Bible studies are posted for review.