Actively involves over 60 churches from various denominations. Reaching over 2,500 ladies in the central Pennsylvania area.
The current Encounter 99 Ministry oversees Ladies Encounter, Teen Encounter, the Pastor's Appreciation Dinner, and the Fall Prayer & Praise. This current ministry is 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 the Encounter 99 event ended, a committee began praying about holding additional meetings. The paperwork for the non-profit 501.c.3 status was completed. The current Encounter 99 committee members are Erwin and Joyce Bassler, Pastor Earl Herr, Nicky Frederick, David Cadle, Jr., Pastor Gary Blankley, Pastor David Meckley, and Pastor Bradley Runkle. The Encounter information for our events is mailed to over 250 local pastors with over 60 churches from various denominations being actively involved. Ladies Encounter also does a mailing to over 2,500 ladies in our community for all the ladies and teen events.
WHAT WE DO
Each year the Ladies Encounter holds a spring event at the Blair County Convention Center, Altoona, PA with 400 to 1,000 ladies attending. The largest Spring Encounter event held was on March 26, 2011 with Sheila Walsh in which she spoke to 1,000 ladies on the topic of "The Shelter of God's Promises." Other well-known speakers have been Bonnie Floyd, Sheri Rose Shepard, Allison Allen, Karen Knight, Anita Gutshick, Gwen Smith, and Sharon Jaynes.
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 there and went to the Morrisons Cove Memorial Park in Martinsburg, PA. At present day, it has been moved to the Convention Center. Also, the Ladies Encounter has held a fall event at the Northern Bedford County High School, Loysburg, PA with 350-550 ladies attending. Marie Monville Roberts was standing room only in the fall of 2014 as she shared how God was present to bring redemption after the horrific event of her then husband shooting the Amish children at their schoolhouse.
A Fall Prayer & Praise with the local music group, Joyful Noise, has been held at the Fellowship Community Centre, Martinsburg, PA each November. The Ladies Encounter Executive Committee includes Joyce Bassler, Laurie Drysdale, Sharon Herr, Doris Miller, Emily Summers, and Karen Weaver.
In preparation for the Ladies Encounter events, 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 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 Bassler (email) and get more information on how to get involved.
OTHER ENCOUNTER 99 EVENTS
The Encounter 99 Committee also hosts an annual Pastor Appreciation Dinner. On November 6, 2017, at the Calvin House in Duncansville, 49 pastors with 45 spouses attended from various denominations. For several years, Teen Encounter sponsored BandFest at Northern Bedford County High School and fall Teen Girl Events. Currently, Teen Encounter is sponsoring a Teen Girl Event each spring at the Grace Fellowship Activity Center - Leamersville Campus. The Teen Encounter Committee consists of Joyce Bassler, Doris Miller, Naomi Ellingwood, Cheryl Gonsman, Darlene McCune, and Kim Olivieri.
What We've Achieved
- Includes over 2,500 ladies in our community.
- Actively involves over 60 churches from various denominations.