Needle’s Eye Ministries Blog

The God Story Behind This Event

The God Story Behind

Because of an overlooked reminder, no one showed up for the public monthly prayer meeting Needle’s Eye has for its ministries. Though no one else was there, and though she had plenty of emails and graphics to work on, staff member Kat Hodges went into the conference room to pray anyway.

I had an appointment with God on my calendar. I knew He was still showing up,” Kat said. While praying through Scripture, the thought to bless the Richmond marketplace with free headshots popped into her head.  She immediately thought of photographer James Lee, but knew she couldn’t ask him to donate work. He had just donated a large amount of his time on a Needle’s Eye project.

Kat went to share the idea with fellow staff member Jordan Maroon. He added to the idea, saying they could get someone to speak on LinkedIn and personal branding at the event, but he agreed they could not ask James to photograph.

That evening Kat got on Facebook and couldn’t believe what she saw. The VERY HOUR she and Jordan were meeting, James had posted in the Young Professionals group. He said, “I bought new equipment I want to try out. Would some people like free professional headshots for their LinkedIn profiles?”

At that point the staff felt compelled to ask James! For a year now he has been thrilled to donate his skills and business for this event that will bless believers and nonbelievers in Richmond’s marketplace.

Next up the staff needed to find someone who could give a presentation on LinkedIn.  Because the speakers from the young professionals retreat did such a great job, Kat asked them if they had connections to someone who could present on LinkedIn.  Immediately Erin Braford’s name was given, that she had trained businesses on LinkedIn multiple times!

Kat contacted Erin, someone who has never been involved with Needle’s Eye.  Here is her response:

Erin Braford

Erin Braford, our speaker September 19th.

Crazy, crazy, thing is that I was JUST thinking about Needles Eye and wondering if I could do any training…really. For a long time I’ve thought about how I can help young professionals navigate career-life skills, and LinkedIn has always been one of those underutilized tools, especially for folks who don’t go straight to major corporate careers. What’s up, God??”

The staff can’t believe how easy this event came together.  Prayer can save us so much time and effort. Are there new business ideas God might have for you, ready to give you all the resources you’ll need? Put it on your calendar to meet with Him and find out!

(After you mark your calendar for some prayer meetings, click HERE for details and registration on the LinkedIn Headshot Party.)

Psalm 107 | Women’s Study

Join Richmond businesswomen for this study starting Thursday, September 14th at the office of Needle’s Eye Ministries. Debbie Bannister will facilitate. Register below and buy your book today!

From the Publisher: There are times when worship overflows effortlessly from a heart full of gratitude and praise. And there are times when God seems far and we feel we have nothing to offer. Throughout it all, God shows us His steadfast love.

Psalm 107 is a call to worship. It reminds us that each season of life is an opportunity to reveal the anchor of our souls. Learn to face both storms and deserts with courage and trust in Jesus, and discover how tests in our journeys of faith reveal the true condition of our hearts. For there is no fear for the one who fears the Lord, the one whose soul is anchored in His steadfast love.

When: Thursdays, starting September 14, 2017 and ending November 2, 2017
Time: 5:45pm to 7:30pm
Where: Needle’s Eye Ministries | 104 Berrington Court, Richmond VA 23221
Cost: Purchase your own book. (Steadfast Love)
Register: Click here to register!

About the Leader: A native to Richmond, Debbie Bannister has worked for Seay Real Estate for the past 20 years.  Currently she is an Associate Broker for the company.  It was through her Broker and then Board Member of Needle’s Eye, Chad Seay, that she became acquainted with Jesus.  Her Needle’s Eye relationship began with attending a speaker luncheon with Chad and other co-workers in 1999.  Through the luncheons, she was introduced to small group life.  The women’s small group she joined was just one of the ways Debbie was afforded the opportunity to grow in her understanding of the Bible and Christ.  The safe environment in which women come together from all ages and walks of life is what Debbie enjoys most about small group life.  Debbie also serves as a biblical counselor at Christian Counseling & Training Center and as a Bible study grader for the jail ministry at her church, Harvest Christian Church in Mechanicsville.  Debbie’s recent free time passion is attending Paint Nite, but she also enjoys spending time with extended family or hanging out at home with her cat, Corvette.

Reclaiming Faith, Hope, & Love at Work Conference

Ken Barnes for print with black outline

In the beginning… God worked.  Work was done by a holy and perfect being.  Do you think we’ll be lounging around on clouds in Heaven?  No – we’ll work together with jobs and projects that fit us perfectly.  Work was meant to be life-giving!  Since sin entered the world, work has changed.  At one point or another you’ve probably experienced the Sunday evening blues, you’ve questioned if there was any purpose to your job, and you’ve wondered how your faith has any place in corporate America.  This conference will invigorate you to join God’s restorative plan and will equip Richmond’s churches to reclaim faith, hope, and love at work.


Who: For Richmond’s Christian Professionals
Conference on Faith & Work
When: November 17-19, 2017
Where: Bon Air Baptist Church | 2531 Buford Rd, Richmond, VA 23235
Why: Because Christ is Lord of all areas of life, we’re bringing churches together to equip them to be light in the area of life where we spend most our time, and where the good news of Jesus has the greatest potential – at work.
Cost: $25 before November 1st
Registration: Click here to register!


ken barnes

About the Speaker:  Rev. Dr. Kenneth Barnes has a background as an international executive, a pastor, and an academic.  His resume in any one of these categories is impressive.  We encourage you to view his credentials here, and see why he is one of the world’s top authorities on the intersection of faith and work.


Conference Schedule:

Friday (7:00pm-9:00pm)
Theology of Work – Why All Jobs Matter

Saturday (8:30am-3:00pm) with Light Continental Breakfast, Coffee, & Lunch Provided

Faith, Work, and Economics

  • How to Share Your Faith Without Losing Your Job
  • Witness and Ministry to Millennials

Breakouts and Lunch

Hope, Work, and Economics

  • Technology and the Changing Job Market

Love, Work, and Economics

  • How To Be Salt and Light in the Midst of This Changing Job Market

Ken will be preaching at one of our sponsoring churches, TBD.


Partnering Churches So Far:

Bon Air Baptist
City Church
Common Good RVA
Community West Church
Cool Spring Baptist
Crestwood Church
East End Fellowship
Eternity Church
Grace Community Baptist
Hope Church
Manna Christian Fellowship
Mechanicsville Christian Center
Real Life Church
Second Baptist
St. Giles Church
Stony Point Presbyterian
Sycamore Presbyterian
Third Church
Tikvat Israel
West End Assembly of God
West End Presbyterian

Ladies Movie Night | Chonda Pierce

Women of all ages are invited to take a break from the hustle and bustle to enjoy a night of fellowship with other professionals over good food and good laughs.  Come watch Christian comedian Chonda Pierce as she draws on her southern upbringing, shares messages of faith, and tells stories with down-home humor that are sure to have you roaring.  Dinner will be provided, and space is limited, so register today!

When: Thursday, August 24, 2017
Time: 5:45pm to 8:00pm
Where: Needle’s Eye Ministries | 104 Berrington Court, Richmond VA 23221
Cost: FREE!
Register: Click here to register!

Career Development Workshop | Fall 2017

Needle’s Eye is offering a highly-structured seven-week course to provide skills training and assistance for adults who are trying to find employment, transition back into the workforce, or become more marketable. We’ll help you take steps to improve your prospects! Topics include:

  • Discover your calling and purpose
  • Attitude adjustment
  • Identifying your strengths
  • Enhancing your resume
  • Networking skills
  • Interviewing strategies
  • Evaluating job offer compensation

When: Wednesdays, starting September 13, 2017, ending October 25, 2017
 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Needle’s Eye Ministries | 104 Berrington Court, Richmond VA 23221
Click here to register!

*Partial scholarships are available. For more details, contact


For questions or comments about the Career Transition Group or Career Development Workshop, please contact:

Kathryn Dixon
Ministry Administrative Assistant

Parking Lot Prayers, Hindus, & God’s Voice

YP Workshop cropped

Spring/Summer 2017 Young Professionals Workshop

“I’m a Christian. Is there any way I can pray for you?” is what Rachael Newmister asked the 80 year-old woman in the grocery store parking lot. The Lord had nudged her to pray for this woman, and sure enough, He knew what He was doing. The woman was going to celebrate July 4th with her family and all were mourning the loss of three grandchildren. The woman was about to cry, moved by God’s love for her in this tough time.
Rachael is the Executive Director of East End Pregnancy Center and participated in our Young Professionals Workshops that wrapped up last week. “When [the group discussed] the 6 Ms for Fruitful Living on the Frontline we talked about how these are some things you can use to evangelize in the workplace and it doesn’t always start with sharing.”
Whole-Life Discipleship Handout

Rachael is seeing this play out with Hindu neighbors she is building relationships with.

“I talk about Jesus, but I haven’t been able to share the Gospel yet. I did give one girl her first Bible the other day, and I prayed with her and she said, ‘Wow! I felt the power of God in that. Can you teach me?’ It’s just neat. I think God gives us moments every day to show His glory to others.”
Sometimes God calls us to pray for a complete stranger in a parking lot. Sometimes He asks us to simply love our neighbors and wait. It’s the same in our workplaces. Needle’s Eye Ministries wants to equip you to hear His voice amidst deadlines and emails.  We do this through our many marketplace ministries, and November 17-19th we’re doing this by bringing one of the best conferences on faith & work Richmond has ever seen.

Reclaiming Faith, Hope, & Love at Work

Ken Barnes for print with black outline

Who: For Richmond’s Christian Professionals
Conference on Faith & Work
When: November 17-19, 2017
Where: Bon Air Baptist Church
Save the date!  Details coming soon!

About the Speaker:  Prior to embarking on a career in academia, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Barnes spent more than 25 years as a senior international executive for several multi-billion dollar companies doing business on six continents. Ken has also worked with enterprises and start-ups and continues to serve as a company director and mentor to young executives.

ken barnesHe was named a Fellow in the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Charles Dickens, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx, William Hogarth, John Diefenbaker, Stephen Hawking, and Tim Berners-Lee are some of the notable past and present Fellows.

Dr. Barnes’ main areas of research and teaching are: The Intersections of Theology and Economics/Faith and Work; Christian Apologetics; Old Testament Hermeneutics; Reformed Theology; Reformation History; and Philosophy of Religion. He has published numerous papers in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. His publication Spirituality and Business Ethics: Religious Perspectives on Business, Routledge Companion to Business Ethics, is due out this spring. Two forthcoming books include: God and Mammon: Wealth, Virtue and the Redemption of Post-Modern Capitalism, and Light From the Dreaming Spires: Reflections on Ministry to Gen Y.

In July of 2016 Ken began serving as the Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics, and the Director of the Mockler Center for Faith & Ethics in the Workplace at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Needle’s Eye Ministries is hiring an Office Manager!


Needle’s Eye Ministries has an opening for a self-motivated Office Manager.  This person will support a team environment and possess the qualities of flexibility and grace.  The ideal person will be a mature Christian with a four-year college degree.  The individual will have experience in office management (including direct staff reports), human resources (including oversight of insurance and benefit plans, payroll, as well as understanding of H.R. policies and procedures), and functioning as an executive assistant to management.

Viable candidates will have a background in the description above and fit in well with Needle’s Eye Ministries’ mission, values, and culture. Links and details here:

Competitive Salary – Payscale towards the top for this position in the nonprofit sector

Competitive Benefits – Long-Term Disability, Short-Term Disability, Life Insurance, and stipend for a broad range of health benefits provided; 403B option

Please give this opportunity thought and prayer. Should you feel you are a viable candidate, please send a cover letter and resume to as soon as possible.

CEOs Praying for Strangers on the Street

From Left: Wesley Mullins, Geoff Lawrence, Todd Peace, Howe Rice, Tim Ryan, (Dan Cooper not pictured)

It’s not every day you find CEOs across Richmond getting together, and it’s ESPECIALLY not every day you see them get together to walk the streets of Richmond and pray for strangers, but that’s something that’s been on Christian Presidents Group member Howe Rice’s heart for some time.

“You know in Scripture where it talks about Jesus sending them out in twos… so I just kind of felt compelled to do that, to go out in pairs.  I shared it with these guys and they’re crazy enough to be like ‘Yeah, let’s do that!’  And so that’s what we did.”

Different pairs walked around the city, introduced themselves, and asked people if they’d like any prayer.  Some people said “no, thank you,” but some were very receptive.

“Howe started a conversation with a gentleman who appeared to be homeless.  He was open about the fact that he didn’t know what he believed.  He wasn’t sure if he believed in God.  Howe took time to walk him through some Scriptures, ask him what he believed.  We probably talked with him for about 15 minutes and really got down to the heart level,” said Tim Ryan.

Howe said, “Tim was great.  He would go right up to people and say, ‘Hey, what can we pray for?  There’s no other agenda here.  We just want to pray for you.’ And I was honestly shocked at how many people said ‘Yeah, actually I’m struggling with this.  I would appreciate some prayer here.'”

At one point Tim and Howe were walking around praying to the Lord, asking Him, “Who should we talk to? Who do you want us to approach Lord?”  They came across a man who looked busy moving boxes, so they kept going.  Then Tim felt a tug to turn around.

“We went back to him,” Howe said, “and he had this really tough guy look and I think that’s why I kept walking, but Tim felt the Spirit pulling us back to him and as soon as Tim said ‘we just want to pray for you’ he started smiling.  You could just feel the burden lifted from him.”

This Christian Presidents Group knows Christianity in America can be a comfortable life.  Geoff Lawrence said, “One of the comments Howe made 11 years ago when this group started was he just wants to end the race bloody, beaten, and sliding in front of Christ, like sliding into the gates and running hard, not worried about how it looks, what people around him are doing, but being so focused on it that you’re running as hard as you can run.  And it’s like that runner’s so focused on it that they’re diving for that line.  And so that comes out of uncomfortable situations.  That doesn’t come out of comfort.  You can’t sit on your couch and show Christ’s love.  That’s what he’s spurring us on to do, to step out of our comfort zone, because Christ is in the uncomfortable situations.”

If you know a Christian President looking for other presidents or CEOs serious about being the hands and feet of Christ then be sure to tell them about our Christian Presidents Groups.




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