The mission of The Order of the Daughters of the King is specific and simple for the local St. Bridget chapter at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.
“It is an order,” Peggy Rogers, local chapter president, said. “In other words, we take vows when we become a daughter, and we’re just a group of prayer and service. A group of women who our main goal is prayer and service to our priest and our clergy ... and any others who ask us to pray for them.”
The international group was founded in 1885 by Margaret J. Franklin at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Locally, the chapter has been around since 2008 and serves as the only one in Loudon County.
Each month a group of 13 women come together to pray for people that, in some cases, they will never know. The group is also currently on what Rogers described as a “spiritual journey” Bible study.
The local chapter typically stays within the church, but Rogers said they will do whatever is needed if called upon by the Rev. Amy Morehous, church pastor.
“We go through a list, our prayer list we call it, and we update the progress or we can say, ‘These people have been all right, we can take them off,’ and we add to,” Erlys Ploeger, local order chaplain, said.
Being part of the order is a lifestyle and takes effort, Rogers said.
To be eligible, women must be part of a liturgical church, whether Anglican, Lutheran, Episcopalian or Roman Catholic, Ploeger said.
“It’s like our motto for the order,” Rogers said. “It says, ‘For his sake, I am but one, but I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something. What I can do I ought to do and what I ought to do by the grace of God I will do. Lord, what will you have me do?’ So that’s really kind of what we strive to do. We may not be able to do it, we may not do it every day, but that’s really what our desire is, is to be strengthened by prayer help and learn through study, which we do.”
Before a woman can become a member, she must undergo two months of training and study led by a qualified order member. Rogers said women do not need “special spiritual attributes” to become a daughter, but must have a desire to become closer to God and help others do the same.
“We are a group of Christian women striving to do the promises of our baptismal covenant through the adoption of a rule of life,” Rogers said.
Once vows are taken, each woman is given a silver cross necklace.
“This is ours for life,” Rogers said. “We agree to wear it every day. We don’t believe that this has anything to do really with our salvation or anything, it’s just an outward expression and it’s also evangelism. People ask us what it’s about and what it says and it says on there, ‘I will uphold and bear the cross,’ which is basically what we agreed to do.”
“Quite often when we wear it, for instance, if I’m in Walmart sometimes people ask about it, and then they say, ‘Would you pray for ...?’ So we write the name down and pray for them,” Ploeger added.