After shuffling men and youth off to other events last night, thousands of women rushed to an encouraging event just for them at the MegaFest 2005.
"Woman, Thou Art Loosed is designed for women who want to grow in their spiritual walk and be empowered with encouragement, spiritual enlightenment and praise!" states the Web site for MegaFest - one of the largest Christian gatherings in the nation, led by Bishop T. D. Jakes.
According to organizers, Bishop Jakes feels it's important that the women's event is part of a larger family event.
Derek Williams, the conference director, said, "Family is very important, and that's something that Bishop Jacob has been talking about for many years. For America and the world, this is an event that allows men, mothers, children to all do their own activities separately, but when they come back as a unit, there's that much more there."
He also said it's important to have the father show his son how to be a man and have a proper father figure for the daughter. According to him, this has not been happening.
"There has been a deterioration of family across the country," he said.
And Williams believes the church is to be held responsible for the well-being of the family unit, which Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family calls, the basic unit of the Kingdom of God.
"We can't expect society to decide what family is going to be," said Williams. "The church ought to be right first, and the world ought to follow."
The conference made its debut last year and won an award for the record-breaking campus attendance of 560,000 over the course of three days.
Though figures are not expected to be known until the last day, youth pastor, Anthony Meyers said the event already "exceeded our expectations."
People brought entire extended families. Quite a number of them are holding their family reunions at the MegaFest, he said.
MegaFest combines Bishop Jakes' popular men's conference, "ManPower" and women's conference, "Woman, Thou Art Loosed," with the new mega youth experience, "MegaKidz," at Atlantas top venuesthe Georgia Dome, the Georgia World Congress Center, Philips Arena, and International Plaza.
In addition, with finance seminars, a parade, extreme sports demonstrations, concerts, a career fair, leadership talks, a fashion show, a comedy show, a golf tournament, and much more, MegaFest is an event for everyone.
"It is the only Christian conference that meets the needs of the entire family," said Meyers. "It's not just mom or dad that's saved, but it's the whole family.
"When they leave here, they get to secure their own home and then they get to secure their community."