A conference hosted by Shekinah Faith Ministries Inc. offered advice to singles, married couples, divorcees and widows to help heal and resolve any issues that may prevent them from cultivating better relationships.


Billed as the Health of Relationships Conference, it was held Saturday at Faith Church at 2905 SE 21st Ave.


The Rev. Kenneth McClellan has been the pastor of the ministries for 17 years and was pleased with the discussions in the conference.


“It opened a lot of conversations,” McClellan said. “It brought a lot of things out for people to discuss them.”


The panelists were Najah Adams of Williams Temple Church of God in Christ, Pastor Ted Welcome and First Lady Faylene Welcome of Old Town Church of God in Christ and Pastor Bennie Childs and First Lady Demetria Childs of Vital Church.


The moderators were pastor Derrick Mercer Jr. of DM2 Ministries and Yolanda Strong of Shekinah Faith.


McClellan gave the task of heading the marriage and family class to Strong.


Strong became a member of Shekinah Faith in 2012 and began teaching the marriage and family class in 2013. The success of the class led the church to host a relationship’s conference open to the public.


“Some people recognize the issue, but don’t know how to resolve them and that’s what the conference is for,” Strong said.


The conference helped the audience find biblical answers to deal with problems such as infidelity and financial issues.


“We definitely need these types of events because certain topics are taboo,” Strong said.


Guests gathered into groups of six to share how they would solve a problem after reading a scenario given to them.


“It’s a very unfiltered class,” said Susan McClellan, first lady of Shekinah Faith. “Visitors are so intrigued by it because they don’t find this in other churches. A lot of couples need information to know that they are not alone in problems they’re facing.”


One scenario asked a group how to solve a situation involving an ex-wife and a daughter needing to move out of their home because of a storm and if the ex-husband and new wife should welcome them into their home as refuge.


“There’s no right or wrong answer,” said Bennie Childs. “It depends on all the people involved.”


LaTanya LaPread traveled to the conference from Miami and gave advice on how to overcome problems in relationships during the discussion.


“Perfect love casts out all fear,” LaPread said. “Communication and trust make any relationship work.”


Mercer told the audience to be practical in relationships and to refrain from being idealistic.


“We present who we want to be and not who we really are,” Mercer said.


Ted Welcome suggested that people should consider marriage counseling.


“It helps to figure out any issues,” Welcome said. “When God is the apex, everything is mundane.”


Adams shared her testimony about her divorce and offered advice to those going through a similar situation.


“It’s important to not idealize marriage,” Adams said. “When I divorced, I felt like I failed God, my ministry and my family. Get to a place of wholeness. Single does not mean lonely. Being married does not mean better than.”


Bennie and Demetria Childs have been married for 17 years and she said that setting boundaries helps the relationship grow.


“I’m learning as a married woman that you have to set boundaries,” she said. “We take baggage of the spouse and we start to resent them.”


She also mentioned the power of effective communication in relationships.


“Sometimes what is said is not what we hear,” she said. “We have to get to the bottom of it. There are underlying issues we’re not dealing with. Be humble enough and discerning enough to unpack unresolved issues.”