History of Encounter 99
The current Encounter 99 Ministries consisting of Ladies Encounter, Teen Encounter, and the Pastor's Appreciation Dinner have been a result of the area wide interdenominational tent crusade with Evangelist Steve Wingfield which was held on June 20-27, 1999 at the Northern Bedford County High School. During the event, ladies from various churches held meetings every morning. Because of the overwhelming desire to continue having meetings after Encounter 99 ended, a committee began praying about speakers and meeting times and places. The paperwork for 501.c.3 status was completed. The current Encounter 99 committee members are Erwin and Joyce Bassler, Pastor Earl Herr, Pastor David Meckley, Pastor Gary Blankley, Pastor Brad Runkle, David Cadle, and Nicky Frederick.
Each year the Ladies Encounter holds a spring event at the Blair County Convention Center, Altoona, PA with 400-1,000 ladies attending.
The largest Spring Encounter event was on March 26, 2011 with Sheila Walsh in which she spoke to 1,000 ladies on "The Shelter of God's Promises" at the Convention Center. Other well-known speakers have been Bonnie Floyd, Sheri Rose Shepherd, Allison Allen, Karen Knight, Gwen Smith, Michele Pillar, Nancy Stafford, Mary Southerland, Sharon Jaynes, and Lisa & Alan Robertson.
The first meeting of the Ladies Encounter was on October 16, 1999. The spring event started at the Northern Bedford County High School as a spring tea. The event outgrew the facilities and went to the Morrisons Cove Memorial Park in Martinsburg, PA and at present are holding the meetings at the Convention Center.
The Ladies Encounter sponsors a fall event which is currently being held at Faith Assembly in Roaring Spring, PA with 350-400 ladies attending. Some speakers at the Fall Encounters have been Anita Gutschick, Kirsten Hart, Shelli Prindle, Susie Shellenberger, Marie Roberts Monville, Carole Wolaver, and Amy Carroll. Also a Fall Prayer and Praise with the local group, Joyful Noise, is currently being held at the Grace Fellowship Church, Leamersville Campus.
All local churches are asked to have a lady from their church serve as a church representative. They attend two meetings a year and may bring a guest with them. They give us suggestions for speakers and share the comments and ideas on how to improve our meetings. The representatives are then asked to share with their local church and ladies’ ministries about our upcoming events and help encourage ladies from their church to attend. This is a vital part of Ladies Encounter and one of the reasons for our growth. Any churches that do not have a church representative are welcome to contact Joyce and get more information on how to get involved.
Ladies Encounter Executive Committee members are Joyce Bassler, Sharon Herr, Doris Miller, Karen Weaver, Patricia David, and Linda Furry.
Other Encounter 99 Events
The Encounter 99 Committee hosts an annual Pastor Appreciation Dinner at Calvin House, Duncansville, PA with 46 pastors and spouses attending from different denominations in the area. On November 5, 2018 was the 18th annual dinner.
For several years Teen Encounter sponsored BandFest at Northern Bedford County High School. Currently Teen Encounter is sponsoring a Teen Girl Event each spring at the Grace Fellowship Activity Center Leamersville Campus. Teen Encounter Committee consists of Joyce Bassler, Doris Miller, Darlene McCune, Cheryl Gonsman, and Naomi Ellingwood.
The Encounter mailings for our events are sent to over 300 local pastors with over 50 churches from various denominations being actively involved. Ladies Encounter also sends a mailing to over 2,500 ladies in our community for all the ladies and teen events.
If you would be interested in any further information on upcoming events, please contact Joyce Bassler at 814-224-5119, visit the website at www.ladiesencounter.com, or our Facebook page.