Special Guests at This Weekend’s Women of Joy Conference in Pigeon Forge!


DECATUR, AL—Dominican senator Cristina Lizardo will be attending Women of Joy conference at the LeConte Center this weekend along with Mayor David Wear, City Manager Earlene Teaster and other elected Tennessee officials.

The Senator will be attending to express her appreciation for the ministry’s partnership with Compassion International and the impact the organizations have collectively made in the Dominican Republic.

“We are honored to have Senator Lizardo as our guest this weekend,” said Phil Waldrep, co-founder of Women of Joy. “We share a common passion for helping better the lives of children in poverty and we are excited to welcome her to Tennessee.”

Lizardo, who is the Senator for the province of Santo Domingo, is the first woman to preside in both the Senate and Congress of the Dominican Republic. Joining her to express their appreciation is a pantomime group from Santo Domingo made up of 13 college-age students who were sponsored through Compassion as children. The group will perform during each day of the conference.

A dinner in Lizardo’s honor will be held on Saturday, April 27 and will include Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear, City Manager Earlene Teaster, Vice Mayor Kevin McClure, Commissioners Tony Watts, Jay Ogle and Ken Maples, Sheriff Ronald Seals and Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters. Tennessee senators Marsha Blackburn and Lamar Alexander have also been invited to the event.

The relationship between Lizardo and Women of Joy conference began in January, as the first international Women of Joy conference was held in Santo Domingo and girls from the Compassion program along with their mothers attended at no cost to them. There were over 6,000 in attendance. The ministry plans to take the conference back to the Caribbean nation in 2021.

Women of Joy is a conference created by Phil Waldrep Ministries, based in Decatur, Alabama. The conference first began in 1994 in Pigeon Forge and was known as “Women’s Weekend Getaway” until the name was changed to Women of Joy in 2005.

In 2014, Phil Waldrep Ministries began a partnership with the global child sponsorship organization Compassion International, whose goal is to “release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.” Since then, nearly 7,000 children have received sponsorships at their three conferences: Women of Joy, Gridiron and Celebrators. In 2018, the ministry focused on sponsoring children in the Dominican Republic and over 1,900 children received a sponsor.

The Pigeon Forge event begins Friday, April 26 and concludes on Sunday morning, April 28. Conference guests include Bible teachers and authors Angela Thomas Pharr, Annie F. Downs, Karen Kingsbury and Jennifer Rothschild. The line-up also includes Christian comedian Ken Davis, worship leader Charles Billingsley and a concert with Christian recording artist and American Idol season eight finalist, Danny Gokey.

In 2019, Women of Joy will present 8 conferences in 5 different cities: Pigeon Forge, TN, Branson, MO, Myrtle Beach, SC, Indianapolis, IN, and San Antonio, TX.

“Our prayer is for women to understand who they are in Christ and to see they have a divine purpose in this world,” said Phil Waldrep.

Women of Joy is thoughtfully designed to enhance and energize the spiritual lives of Christian women. With the very best Christian speakers in the country, the brightest stars in the contemporary Christian music universe, and sound, biblical teaching, the Women of Joy conferences offer an exciting, spiritually fulfilling experience for today’s women.

Phil Waldrep Ministries, based in Decatur, Alabama, seeks to make a difference in the lives of people. This is accomplished through conferences such as Women of Joy, Gridiron and Celebrators as well as speaking engagements, online devotionals, and Pastor’s Encouragement Retreats.

For more information, visit womenofjoy.org.