Women’s conference set for Sept. 23; to benefit backpack ministry

OLD FORT — Old Fort Church Generations Ministry plans to host its annual Women’s Conference 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Old Fort Church, 8245 N. Main St., Old Fort. The theme this year is “Life is a Circus and God is the Ringmaster.”

Register by Friday online or by contacting the church. The cost is $25 and includes lunch. Check-in is to begin at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and pastries.

This year, proceeds from raffle tables are to benefit the Backpack Ministry; more information is to be available at the conference.

Kelly Connor Spallinger and Jaya DeZurik are to be keynote speakers. Magician Kenneth Ladd is to perform, and music is to be provided by Spallinger and Hoopty Hoo and the Such.

Spallinger lives on a farm in northwest Ohio with her husband, Tim. She joined the Lima First family as worship leader in May 2010. Since then, childhood, music and family have been a major part of her life.

She began performing at age 9 and, at 15, became a member of Fresh Surrender, a family-based contemporary band.

Spallinger has been nominated for a DOVE award and has two national record releases with Impact/Word record label and recorded more than 15 projects.

DeZurik lives in Upper Sandusky with her husband, Jason, and six children. She homeschools five of her children and works part-time at Voice of Hope, a pregnancy center/family clinic.

Ladd is a retired minister of the United Methodist Church and has a doctorate in clinical psychology. He has been a part-time professional magician for more than 40 years and worked with youth for more than 50 years. He has performed throughout Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Ladd is a member of Fellowship of Christian Magicians, The International Brotherhood of Magicians, The Society of American Magicians and the International Society of Magicians. He also is a member of the Order of Merlin, Order of Merlin Shield, The Heritage Club and holds a Doctor of Magic degree from the Academy of Magic.

Hoopty Hoo and The Such is a Christian rock band with a passion for serving God through music and providing a message of hope to all who hear them. Founded in 2010 in Tiffin, band members are Michael Sooy (vocals, keys, guitar), Dennis Cimo (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Grover (drums, vocals) and Matt Hartman (bass, vocals), with sound technician Nick “Cadillac” Seville.

For more information, call Carol Pence at (419) 618-2558, Becky Wilkinson at (419) 307-2778 or Old Fort Church at (419) 992-4336, or email