Nationwide faith conference comes to Central Illinois

By Alyssa Donovan

August 17, 2013 Updated Aug 19, 2013 at 10:01 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- Hundreds of women have taken over the Peoria Civic Center to learn more about their faith.

The Women of Faith program brought hundreds of central Illinois women to the Peoria Civic Center on Friday and Saturday for the 'Believe God Can Do Anything' conference.

Ministry Director Lisa Harper said Peoria is the 3rd stop on their nationwide tour.

"We have usually about 25 live events a year and this year we'll see our 5 millionth woman that's attended one of our events," said Harper.

Many women have attended the conference in other cities hoping year after year that it would come to Peoria.

"I have been to other Women of Faith conferences, one in Des Moines, Iowa and one in St. Louis [that] was the closest one. So to have this right in our back yard, I was really thrilled," said Mickey Shermansky of Pekin.

"First one I attended was in 1996 in Chicago and it's changed quite a bit from that one but it's still an awesome, awesome conference and I feel very privileged that they stopped in Peoria," said Linda Frary of Peoria.

The program was a mix of speakers, bible teachers, comedians and musicians.

Bible teacher Jen Hatmaker said the conference is designed for all women no matter what age or background.

"There is no one demographic for the women who come. You don't have to have any sort of anything. You don't have to have a church background. You don't have to be in an age range. There is a beautiful diversity," said Hatmaker.

Harper said she hopes women that attend hear the message that you don't have to be perfect.

"That's really the whole point, reminding women that God loves them and they have great worth," she said.

The Women of Faith conference will be in Des Moines, Iowa next weekend and Harper said they will probably return to Peoria next year.

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