Hats, Attitudes and Tea - It's the time of year for springtime, resurrection and new beginnings. On Saturday, April 19, 2014 the day before Easter, Rev. Cameron M. Alexander, Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church North, along with the Women’s Division in Atlanta, Georgia presented the 2nd Annual Hattitude Tea at the Ritz Carlton Hotel of Buckhead, in Atlanta, Georgia.
It was a beautiful, elegant affair where women wore their fancy hats and brought their attitude to fellowship, listen to music, sip their tea and dine on heavy hors d`oeuvres.
This year, several mothers brought their daughters to share this special moment by teaching and showing them how to be a lady and still enjoy yourself. This was especially appropriate right before Mother's Day.
This event was inspired by First Lady, Mrs. Barbara Alexander, and the beautiful hats she wears every Sunday.
When a woman wears a hat, her whole attitude changes, she walks with more grace and pride. When Spring arrives, a woman really has a "New Attitude". She moves as though she is saying “I’m feelin’ good from my head to my shoes”. A song Ms. Patti Labelle made famous in 1985.
Many of the hats that were worn by the ladies were designed by church member, Ms. Olivia Rencher of BO's Gift Shop. I was one of the blessed ones who proudly displayed the result of her creativity on my head.
Ms. Johnnie Thomas was so overwhelmed when we honored her with flowers because she had so much input in designing this exclusive affair.
Prior to this successful event, the Ladies of Antioch led the congregation through three months of activities with the congregation by having a Slouch on the Couch “NFL Playoff Game Day” (catered to the men), Women’s’ Transformation Prayer Breakfast, a Conference, celebrating Rev. Alexander’s Birthday and Mrs. Alexander’s birthday, a tour of Memphis, Tennessee for an historical-educational experience and finally concluded with the Hattitude Tea.
Antioch's Women Division is Co-Chaired by Mrs. Janetta Booker and Mrs. Barbara Alexander. For this event, the Tea Hostesses were Ms. Dellia Collier and Ms. Auriel Collier. Ms. Jeanette Williams opened with a prayer and blessing and later, Ms. Dianne Williams rendered the closing prayer.
Antioch always encourages young people to participate, be active and respectful of their religious practices. The ladies were proud to have the young musical group, The Phaze, (ranging from ages 12 – 13 years old) performed throughout the program. They were amazing, very enjoyable, and it seemed as though they have been performing all their lives.
The young ladies known as the Young Jewels of Antioch had their moment when they paraded down the runway, acting like little models and displaying their pretty hats. Not too far away, you could see their proud Mothers smiling with great pride. The crowd loved this.
The presenter for this parade of hat fashion was Ms. Rosalyn Currington, a beautiful woman who you will never see without her hat. Even on a Saturday, you will see her with some type of hat. It was such a wonderful moment when Ms. Currington enthusiastically introduced the young ladies and then the older ladies.
Everyone enjoyed the moment when the parade of stars strutted around the room modeling their hats, both fashionable and creative. Many brought a lot of laughs.
Before the parade ended, we had to honor the First Lady of Antioch who is known for strutting with her fashionable hats. Mrs. Alexander walked to the podium with her arms stretched out like she always does with gestures showing that she is hugging and loving each one of us. We had to give her a standing ovation. She is still beautiful and truly represents a great First Lady for our Pastor, Rev. Alexander. Because of the great example Mrs. Alexander is, the parade of stars ended with the Alexander ladies strutting and modeling their hats and carrying on the tradition.
However, the end of this awesome Hattitude event could not have been better. Again, the young kids took over. Phaze was playing the Academy nominated song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams which has been number 1 for several weeks. It has such a great beat you can’t help but sing and move to this song. Little Ms. Zion Byrd couldn’t contain herself when she grabbed the mike and performed the vocals. It was a delightful moment with Zion being “Happy”, Phaze being “Happy” and everyone else being “Happy”.
After it was over, I was still excited about this event that I had to keep talking to several ladies especially Chairperson Jane Butler who said “this was so unbelievable that the women didn’t let the rain stop them for coming. They still came out and they looked great and had many laughs.” Ms. Essie Fuller, Co-Chairperson invited a lot of ladies and said “It was marvelous and unbelievable. Each year it gets better. The women just don’t know how good it’s going to get each year”.
Ms. Marsha McCracken summed it up “This was an absolutely beautiful, exquisite affair. Coming to the Hattitude event here at the Ritz Carlton made you feel beautiful and at the same time we had so much fun”.
Therefore, I challenge all women from everywhere to come and participate next year. This year many other women from other churches and out of state didn’t hesitate to participate, so come.
Next time you put on your hat always remember how the Ladies of Antioch North in Atlanta wore their hats with an attitude which represented “The Hattitude Tea” event of 2014.
Copyright © 2014.MAY This story written and photos by Renee Sudderth for Splash Magazines. It is not to be sold or reproduce without written permission of Renee Sudderth