During the past 7 years, our faith-based transitional living program has served more than 300 women. Our sisters have endured homelessness, incarceration, addiction, mental illness, and other traumas. The life transformation women experience at Sisters In Christ can be likened to a caterpillar undergoing a remarkable metamorphosis to become a magnificent butterfly. The impact of Sisters In Christ transcends the life of the women in the program. The entire family experiences positive change when just one woman becomes self-sufficient. Those in the community who witness the transformation are also changed.
2021 Gala Theme: Sisterhood Around the World
Throughout the years, God has blessed Sisters In Christ to serve individuals of many different ethnicities. In celebration of this wonderful diversity, there will be delicious worldwide cuisine served to guests attending in-person. Artwork created by the women of Sisters In Christ and local artists will be displayed and available for silent auction.
Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021
Location: Greater Metropolitan Church of Christ - 3735 Wabash Ave, Kansas City, MO 64109
Time: 6:30 p.m. (Doors open 5:45 p.m.)
**Livestreamed via the Internet from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. for guests joining virtually
Cost: $70 per person ($35 for virtual attendance)
In the summer of 1997, four co-workers -- Carolyn Whitelaw-Whitney, Kimberly Phillips, Debbie Clark-Beecham and Sheryl Fleming-- came together by the leading of the Spirit through Carolyn Whitelaw-Whitney to start praying together in each other’s homes. They quickly recognized that each of them had experienced trauma in their lives which they had not really trusted themselves to be transparent about in the past. As they gathered and prayed for each other, they shared our stories with other women with different life struggles. They soon began expanding their circle and recognized the real purpose of becoming transparent with one another – sisterhood. As a result, Sisters In Christ was born. In July 2014, Sisters In Christ was formally established as a 501c3 non-profit organization.
In 2021, on the occasion of Sisters In Christ's 7th anniversary as a nonprofit organization, Carolyn Whitney will be sharing a part of her story that she has never shared publicly before which is her experience being married to a professional NBA player whose fell prey to drug addiction and incarceration, an incredibly difficult and traumatic life experience that God used to lay the seed for Sisters In Christ. Please join us at the Jubilee Gala and be encouraged and inspired by Carolyn's life story!
Carolyn will be joined by her founding sisters at the Jubilee Gala.
Leilani Haywood is an award-winning writer, seasoned public speaker, and marketing leader who helps non-profits share a story, expand reach, and go up a level. An award-winning writer and former associate editor of one of the largest Christian magazines in the world, she pens stories to intrigue, inspire, and inform. Her words have traveled the world, been shared globally, and translated into ten languages, including French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.
Leilani is the woman behind Haywood Marketing & Communications – A digital marketing company built to help SMEs and non-profits share their vision, attract donors, recruit volunteers, and raise funds. In a career spanning over two decades, she has written and edited countless articles and interviewed celebrities, professional athletes, and people from all walks of life. Some of her favorite memories are hosting movie star Paul Rudd at a blood drive in Kansas City and hosting Barbara Bush, the wife of former president George Bush, at a rally in Hawaii. A creative driven by an altruistic vision, she lives to help brands and non-profits flourish and reshape lives.
Leilani also serves on the board of the Center for Developmentally Disabled and is a volunteer who is ever-ready to help. She is a member of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Women in Ministry Commission, and the founder of the Media and Communications Commission for the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America. Living in Raytown, MO, she runs on faith and derives her inspiration from her family. Leilani balances her free time between creating good content and amazing people and loves to hike and explore the beauty of the outdoors.
Hear Leilani share her story at the Jubilee Gala!
In 1979, Gillian Hennessy-Ortega moved to the United States from Ireland with only $20 in her pocket and the American Dream in her heart. She came from a one-parent household, where her loving mother imparted to her courage, independence, and a fierce fire to champion change and transformation. And that is exactly what she did.
The path was not always smooth, but the journey was certain. Every dream has a destination, and every destination has a beginning. Gillian’s beginnings were humble–her first paying job in America was that of a nanny, earning only $20 per week.
Soon after, she became a professional cheerleader, and upon furthering her education, was recruited as a Systems Operations Manager for a successful company in Kansas City, MO.
After marrying her husband Vince Ortega in 1982 and later giving birth to their son, Vincent Ortega, Jr., Gillian began to feel the tug of God’s call to her, expanded beyond a local reach and pulled her toward a global impact.
Learn more about Gillian's journey by registering for this years' Jubilee Gala!
Harriett grew up in Second Metropolitan Baptist Church. She is a native of Shawnee, Kansas and graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Emporia State University and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Webster University.
Harriett was the 1973 Miss Black Teen of Kansas City, KS and crowned “Mrs. Woman of Color” for the state of Kansas in 1992. Her community involvement led to her selection as a “Talent Judge” for the 1993 Miss USA Pageant.
Harriett is a talented orator and seminar leader. She often compliments her research with inspirational poetry. Throughout 29 years as a military spouse and 14 relocations, Harriett was always fortunate to pursue her passion in higher education. She has been an academic advisor, taught Communications classes and led seminars in Diversity Studies.
Over the past 13 years, Harriett and her husband Retired Colonel Clarence E. Taylor Jr. II., have been blessed to own a Chick-fil-A restaurant located in Overland Park, Kansas.
Harriett’s Philosophy: “Through Empowerment of Self, Anyone Can Make a Difference.”
Come hear Harriett deliver powerful poetry at the Jubilee Gala!
Anna is the very first sister who graduated from Sisters In Christ's faith-based transitional living program. When she joined Sisters In Christ, she encountered a sisterhood that helped her transform her life and become her authentic self.
Come hear Anna's testimony and story of metamorphosis at the Jubilee Gala!