Church of God Girls Ministries Celebrates 50 Years

This year, the Church of God is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Church of God Girl’s Ministries.

“What an exciting and ever evolving journey!” said Janet Blair, coordinator of Church of God Girl’s Ministries. “This incredible ministry began in 1969 under the leadership of Mrs. Willie Lee Darter, Ladies Willing Worker Band secretary.” According to Blair, these clubs are the result of, “lifetimes given by dedicated women who cared enough to share their time, energy, and special abilities: coordinators, mentors, prayer mothers, pastor’s wives, and dedicated women of God. The result is thousands of young lives flourishing into spiritually pure, strong, and dedicated disciples of Christ.”

Under the leadership of Youth and Discipleship, Girls Ministries endeavors to influence life-change according to God’s Word that encompasses the student’s mind, body, and spirit.

The first girl’s clubs were established as local Ladies Ministries envisioned the need to train teen girls as Scripture admonishes in Titus 2:3-5. As a result, the Church of God girls’ organization Young Ladies Auxiliary (YLA) for grades 7-12 was officially formed. Later in 1982 the name was changed to Young Ladies Ministries (YLM).

Due to the widespread interest in this outreach and training program for girls, it became apparent that someone needed to coordinate thel ministry at the International Offices.
Martha Wong was named the first Girls Clubs Coordinator 43 years ago in 1976. Since then the following women have served in the leadership capacity as International Girls Ministries Coordinator:

Martha Wong (76-84)
Karen Martin (84-86)
Linda Godwin (86-88)
Donna Fisher (88-90)
Barbara Fulbright (90-92)
Sondra Hunter and Ginger Sanders, Co-Coordinators (92-94)
Pamela Brewer (94-96)
Dianna Akers (96-98)
Paula Noble (98-00)
Valerie Abbott (00-02)
Leslie Durham (02-04)
Janet Blair (04-07)
Carmela Byrd and Emily Stone, Co-Coordinators (07-08)
Lori Lewis (08-16)
Janet Blair (16-Present)

As the YLM grew, so did its scope to effectively reach younger girls through a club format. JoyBelles (4th-6th grade girls) started in 1974 followed by Bluebelles (1st-3rd grade girls) in 1984 and Little Sweethearts (3-5 year-old preschool girls) in 2004.

Girl’s Clubs are divided into four age groups with tenets. Each group has curriculum and additional merit studies. The holistic club-based curricula is available to assist the local church in mentoring girls with their growth and development as followers of Jesus Christ.
State/Regional and National Girls Ministries Coordinators serve across the United States and around the world. These women promote ministry to girls and provide support to Girls Clubs within their areas while working with the Women’s Discipleship Director to nurture and assist local coordinators and mentors, conduct girl’s events, offer special training, and participate in leadership meetings.

A GOAM (Girls On A Mission) program is written each year by a State/Regional or National Girls Ministries Coordinator. This annual publication is a power-packed curriculum with fun activities to enable girls to learn about the YWEA world missions project and ministry in the church and community.

“This provides a fantastic opportunity for girls to be highlighted and recognized by their local churches as well,” Blair continued. “The program was originally established as part of the annual International Girls Ministries Week in February. Now it is designed for use any time of year giving local churches more flexibility to adapt with their schedules. It is especially prepared for outreach to unchurched girls and for all girls in any church to participate, whether or not their home church is able to offer a year-round girls ministries program. “

“Throughout the years, Church of God Girls Ministries has accepted the challenge to reach girls with relevant resources and fresh ideas,” Blair concluded. “New curriculum was recently developed for Bluebelles and Joy Belles and right now updated curriculum for YLM is being set for release in the next few months.”

To find out more about this continuing vital ministry of the Church of God, go to the International Girls Ministries website:

“The mission has not changed. We are committed to reach today’s girl with God’s promises!”

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