Serving nearly 60 years in the Fourth District Baptist Association’s Women’s Auxiliary has proved mutually beneficial, said Charlotte Anderson.

“It has been wonderful,” said the 87-year-old Anderson, who is stepping down after spending the past 21 years as the mission group’s chairwoman. “It means a lot. I think I’ve done a lot to help people. Not only that, but I’ve lifted myself up inside. There’s been so many things I’ve been a part of that really has helped me through life.”

Anderson will be honored during the Fourth District Baptist Association’s annual banquet at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 9700 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge. The banquet is part of the Fourth District’s annual session set for Nov. 8-12 with the theme “The Power of Unity.”

Also, during the session, Anderson will speak at the Women’s Auxiliary honors program at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. And the election to replace outgoing moderator-President Jesse B. Bilberry, pastor of Mount Pilgrim, will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, with finalists the Revs. Rene Brown and Lee Wesley.

The Fourth District comprises six parishes — East and West Baton Rouge, Iberville, East and West Feliciana and Iberville.

“We do the mission work,” Anderson said. “It’s quite a bit, but it’s rewarding because you take care of the sick. You see about the elderly and those kinds of things.”

The Women’s Auxiliary also provides scholarships for youngsters.

The group has about 70 to 80 members who meet once every quarter and a week each November during the annual session, Anderson said.

The numbers continue to decline as the members have gotten older, Anderson said.

“The younger women don’t have that zeal that the older women have,” she said.

Being a part of the Women’s Auxiliary — particularly as an officer — takes commitment, Anderson said.

“You have been dedicated to the call, and give it your all. That’s what has to happen,” she said. “You can’t just decide you’re going to be in office and you’re not going to be dedicated to it, or you’ll flop.”

No question Anderson has been dedicated — not just in the Women’s Auxiliary but in other areas of her life.

A native of East Feliciana Parish, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Southern University and taught school in East Baton Rouge Parish for 27 years.

She has been a member of Greater New Guide Baptist Church since 1963 and sang in the choir, taught Sunday School and served as the Christian education leader.

As a member of the Women’s Auxiliary, Anderson said she’s visited many states and also been to Jamaica and the Bahamas.

“God has truly blessed me. He has kept me moving so many years,” she said. “It has been a long time and it’s been a lot of wonderful things, and I have been able to have friends across the state and across the country.”

A recent illness reminded Anderson to slow down.

“It was just time for me to let go … I have mixed emotions,” she said. “If they need something from me, I’m always willing to help. When you’ve done something for so long, you know you’re going to miss it, but you also know when it’s time to move on.”

Experiencing Jesus

Attempts to be “good Christians” doing “good works” without a deep relationship with God can be an exhausting experience for believers, says author and filmmaker Bill Myers in his new book, “The Jesus Experience: Journey Deeper Into the Heart of God” (Shiloh Run Press).

“Just as surely as the wick of an oil lamp burns itself up if it’s not saturated in oil, so believers will burn themselves out with good works if they are not saturated in God,” Myers writes.

Myers said he found himself in that situation many years ago when being a servant of goods took precedent over friendship, fellowship and sonship with God. He had lost some of his joy along the way.

“It’s absolutely possible to return to the excitement and joy we had when we first met Christ, and it’s absolutely necessary to replace intellectual philosophy with intimate relationship, to leave being a fearful and dried up servant to being a rejoicing child,” he writes.

Myers shares his faith journey from Bible reading in his early childhood to his role as a writer and producer to his passion for sharing Christ.

Myers also shares that there’s no faster way to fall in love with Christ than worship. He says worship helps believers overcome the enemy, experience God’s peace and see truth.

“When we film documentaries, our cameras often take a beating,” he writes. “All the banging and jostling throws the lenses out of alignment, making it impossible to get a clear picture. So we need to take the camera to a specialist to them aligned. For me, that’s what praise is — a realigning of my senses so they can again see the pure and accurate picture of who my Creator is and how much he loves me.”

Chapters in the 175-page book include “In the Beginning (or How I Got into this Mess),” “Seduced by Service,” “The Cornerstones” and “The Power of Adoration.”

Myers’ books and videos have sold more than 8 million copies. His children’s project include “MaGee and Me” and “The Incredible World of Wall McDoogle.”

Faith Matters runs every other Saturday in The Advocate. Terry Robinson can be reached at (225) 388-0238 or email trobinson@theadvocate.com.