Inspired by Oprah, Suffolk resident forms Friends Club

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 6, 2005

A combination of prayer, Bible study and a dose of &uot;Oprah&uot; one afternoon became the impetus for a life-changing idea that the Rev. Laverne Flythe of Suffolk has put into action.

Recently, some 25 women and male supporters came together to celebrate the first anniversary of the Friends Christian Club at the Suffolk Visitors Center.

Flythe recalled that in January 2003, Oprah Winfrey aired a show about how women across the country have organized such a group. The segment was entitled, &uot;Girls Night Out,&uot; featuring women who took time to meet, share and re-energize.

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Flythe was particularly

motivated by the story of a woman who credited the support of her close network of girlfriends with recovering from a coma.

&uot;That made me realize how special friendship is and the strong bond that women share,&uot; said Flythe.

Flythe and club member Barbara Jordan decided then to start an official club that would &uot;unite women and create stronger bonds in the family, church and community,&uot; said Flythe. The first meeting took place on Oct. 18, 2003 in keeping with its motto, &uot;Great Minds Discuss Great Ideas.&uot;

Since its inception, the organization has taken on several community projects, including providing scholarships to high school seniors and contributing to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

The club colors are sage and green, and its flower is the Ranunculus (Latin: Ra-nung-ky-lus), which means healing.

The organization has some 20 members, most of whom live in Suffolk, but also as far away as North Carolina and Maryland. Each month, the group meets at a member’s house.

In one of numerous events the Friends Christian Club hosts throughout the year, members are gearing up for their first Sweetheart Banquet from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 at the National Guard Armory on Godwin Boulevard in Suffolk. The speaker is Karyn Watson, co-pastor of Living Waters Ministries (FHOR), in Gates, N.C. Kenny Shields and the Tri-City Choral are the special musical guests. Saxophonist Luefras Robinson, the mistress of ceremony, will also perform.

The event promises to be a fun-filled evening, which will include a game for married couples, &uot;How well do you know your mate?&uot;

For more information about the Friends Christian Club or to purhase a ticket for the Sweetheart Ball, call 934-0341.