Seven video sessions filmed at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa Jan. 19–22 are set to be part of a new curriculum for ministry to single mothers.
The seven-week Bible study, called “Entrusted Lessons for the Journey,” deals with different concerns a single mother may face and how to handle them biblically, according to writer O’Shea Lowery. It is scheduled to be published this summer.
Lowery suddenly became a single mother when her husband, Jeff, left for work one morning and didn’t return. He was killed in a work accident, and she went from being a stay-at-home mom with two children, aged 2 and 3, to being a 24-year-old single mother with no college education.
A call for ministry to single moms
God used Lowery’s difficult transition to lead her to earning a doctoral degree in family ministries, later using her doctoral project as a model for single mothers.
The purpose of her Strong and Courageous Ministries, based on Joshua 1:9, is to equip, encourage and empower churches to embrace single mothers and their children, Lowery said. She described Strong and Courageous as “not another program, not another idea, but an actual discipleship ministry for single moms.”
To achieve the greatest impact, the intention is that the ministry will be orchestrated through the local church, Lowery said. Single mothers need to be surrounded by a healthy church family, she added.
“People need to pour into their lives and their children’s lives.”
Entrusted Hope Ministries
Strong and Courageous Ministries fall under the umbrella of Entrusted Hope Ministries.
“I want to spend the rest of my life entrusting to others what God has entrusted to me,” Lowery said. “One of those things is that He allowed me to live out the life of a single moms’ ministry.
“I want them to know that their journey is not on their own shoulders to try and figure out. God sees them, is over their journey, will help them, lead them, provide for them and protect them.”
The study and related videos are meant to help not only single mothers but anyone dealing with fear, Lowery noted. Seven “callings” crucial to the Christian walk and spiritual growth are addressed including spiritual discipline, Bible study, group discipleship with mentoring and teaching practical life skills.
Beth Yates, FBC Tuscaloosa’s women’s minister, coordinated the filming of the video series, which was “open to the public, and all were invited to attend,” she said. “Two of my neighbors came that are not active in church.”
It drew people from Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, including Maria Hernandez and Nicole Pineda, members of Lowery’s Strong and Courageous Sunday School class at First Baptist Church in Dallas. Hernandez described Lowery as “honest and real,” and Pineda said she enjoys the shared commonalities of other single mothers in the class.
Jennifer Cox, a single mother and member of FBC Tuscaloosa, said she appreciated the study’s reminder that God is “sovereign, good and always faithful.”
Friends and family from Lowery’s hometown in Red Bay, Alabama, also offered support, among whom was her daughter, Mandy Morrow. She doesn’t remember the day her father died, but she does remember how strong her mother was throughout her childhood.
“I am very proud and very blessed,” Morrow said. “She is incredibly passionate, motivated and has a heart for people.”
Sarah and Kenny Nichols from the Red Bay area also attended the filming. Before getting married, the two had lost their spouses around the same time Lowery’s husband died. Sarah had two children at the time, forcing her into a single mom role.
Single mothers are one of the largest mission fields in the U.S. With nearly 15 million single parents, ministering to them is a growing need in churches.
To learn more about Lowery and Entrusted Hope visit www.entrustedhopeministries.org.