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The Pine View Praying Women - A legacy lives on 100 years later

Praying in Pine View: (right to left) Anna Hazeltine, Lily Jackson, Allison Troyer, Vanessa Smith.

October 16, 2023

By Jenea Bradshaw, CIU Student Writer

“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer…” Acts 1:14 (ESV)

Allison Troyer and Vanessa Smith have taken this Scripture verse to heart. Every Sunday evening, they open their home in Columbia International University’s Pine View Apartments to other CIU women to join them in time of prayer and Bible study.

To hear about a group of women regularly praying on the CIU campus, it’s natural for those who know CIU’s history, to think back 100 years to another small group of praying women — the women headed up by Emily Dick in the early 1920s, who had a vision for a Bible school in the South. That vision, bolstered by prayer, is CIU.

But the Pine View women’s tie to CIU’s origins is even closer when you consider that Troyer’s grandmother and Smith’s aunt were two members of the original Praying Women. While they are inspired by, and admire their ancestors, the Pine View Praying Women consider themselves their own entity, with the spirit of a new generation yielding to the Lord.

Troyer and Smith established this current group of Praying Women with the desire to pray for CIU, unreached people groups, and the personal requests of those in attendance.

“I felt God place on my heart last year to start a prayer group,” Troyer said. “Since there was not a group to join in the dorm, I felt led to begin one where we have a focused time of prayer, a time of reading God’s word, and a time of fellowship.”

The group originally met in Founders dorm (named for the original Praying Women) until they moved to Pine View Apartments.

One typical Sunday evening found Troyer and Smith offering popcorn and tea to their guests. The ladies then sat in a circle on the living room floor and opened with prayer, asking God for insight from Esther chapter 2 that they were about to study. Each person took their turn reading a handful of verses and then had a discussion on what was read.

Afterward, prayer requests were exchanged, and each woman offered up petitions for one specific need. One woman prayed on behalf of CIU and the school’s search for a new president. Another prayed over CIU Rams athletics — for the athletes’ safety, health and that they honor the Lord with their skill. Another lifted up the missionaries for their faithful task of making Christ known to unreached people groups across the globe and for the missionaries’ safety. Another prayed for the student body and for the personal requests and struggles of each member of the group.

All this was done in the spirit of another verse that the women take to heart:

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

CIU is celebrating its 100th birthday with a Grand Finale Nov. 2-4 featuring a parade of international flags, a Hall of Faith induction, a concert with Grammy Award-winning Christian singer Laura Story and a fireworks display. More information is at   

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