The Gathering speaker

Gracie O’Laughlin speaks at The Gathering’s January 2020 event.

BOONE — Organizers of The Gathering, a Christian women’s event, plan to host as many as 1,000 women at Alliance Bible Fellowship in Boone from July 30-31.

Doors for The Gathering will open at 6:30 p.m. on July 30, and the event will begin at 7 p.m. Gracie O’Loughlin will speak on the topic of identity in Christ.

In the past, O’Loughlin shared teachings for both days of the two-day event. This year, organizers brought on a second speaker, Jordan Roten.

The Gathering will reconvene at 9 a.m. on July 31, beginning with worship and followed by teachings from Roten.

Both days will begin with worship led by Leslie Hall and a worship team comprised of members from different churches around the high country.

“We just want women to come in who love Jesus,” said Rachael Mills, one of four founders of The Gathering.

This will be Mills’ seventh year as an organizer of The Gathering.

Mills and the other organizers hope that this year’s attendance will exceed attendance in the past. In January 2020 The Gathering hosted women from more than 70 churches. When COVID-19 pushed The Gathering online, in August the leadership team hosted a livestream to thousands of people.

“We would be thrilled for 500 or 600,” Mills said.

The Gathering has never taken place in a space as large as this year’s venue, Bible Alliance Fellowship, which holds more than 1,000 people. Mills said the generosity of local businesses, churches and other donors allows them to have such a large space, while also offering the event for free.

“We would never want a ticket cost to keep anyone from coming; that’s our heart,” Mills said. Even though the event is free, she hopes women continue to see the value in it. She encourages people to bring as many friends as they’d like.

The theme of this year’s event is “more than a conqueror” based on the scripture from Romans 8:37.

Mills hopes The Gathering will be an opportunity for women of similar faith to fellowship with and encourage one another after a year of being apart, due to COVID-19.

“We really want women to walk away knowing how to be more than conquerors” mills said.

Registration for The Gathering can be found here: www.gatheringnc.com/register.

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