UMO Alumnus Uses Tragedy to Transform Others through Faith and Beauty Conference

UMO Alumnus Uses Tragedy to Transform Others
through Faith and Beauty Conference


MOUNT OLIVE – At the University of Mount Olive students are given more than a formal education. They are given the experiences that will enable them to make it through the tough times, both at work and at home. This is something that Candida Grogg has learned from experience.


Grogg is an Onslow County native who graduated from what was then called Mount Olive College in 1995 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology. Grogg attributes a lot of her success to her time at the University.


Grogg stated, “I grew up in a small town.  Attending the University of Mount Olive gave me a chance to spread my wings and learn to be independent.”


After graduating, Grogg began working with her mother at a small day spa and salon in Jacksonville, NC. “I would just do whatever she needed me to do. I mostly worked the front desk,” stated Grogg. However, as the spa grew so did Grogg’s responsibilities.


Grogg worked with her mother for 12 years; then tragedy struck. In 2005, Grogg’s two- year-old daughter drowned. “My husband, Chris, had picked up our daughter, Chandler, from daycare, and they had lain down to take a nap,” Grogg said. “While he was asleep, she slipped out of the house and went over to my parent’s house.”  Their daughter was found in the Jacuzzi, and died later that day at the hospital.


Obviously, losing her daughter was a life changing time for Grogg. She decided to take some time off from work and started giving massages at her home. “It was good for my own healing process, and I was able to help others.” Then her sister encouraged her to start her own massage therapy business. “I opened my day spa in 2007, two years after we lost our daughter.” Located in Cedar Point, NC, Blessed Body Day Spa has grown to a business of eight employees.


Grogg has also started a women’s conference for ladies of all faiths called Eastern North Carolina Faith and Beauty Conference. “In 2011 God began showing me that I needed to do a local conference for women,” Grogg stated. “Women travel four and five hours to go to faith based conferences, and I felt like we needed something here. The conference has helped in my healing in so many ways. By losing my daughter, I have lost the opportunity to pour life and love into her. So, this conference has given me many spiritual daughters, and I have the opportunity to give them what I have dreamed of giving Chandler.”


The first annual conference was held in 2014, and this year’s conference will be held on May 15th from 5 to 9 PM and on May 16th from 4 to 9 PM at the Swansboro Rotary Civic Center. The conference has vendor shopping where home-based business women can sell their products and grow. After the vendor shopping there is a service with praise and worship and keynote speakers. “We also choose three random women for free makeovers,” added Grogg.


This year Grogg will be awarding two scholarships to high school senior girls, and will continue to do so each year. The scholarships are in memory of Chandler.


Grogg and her husband, Chris, have three more children, Chase, Canaan, and Callie Grace, who are always ready to help their mother with conferences and events to honor the memory of their sister.


“Our prayer is that women will experience God’s presence like never before. We pray that they will develop a more clear understanding of God’s love for them and how beautiful He sees them, as well as what the Word says about who they are in God. We pray that these women live strengthened, loved, and changed,” noted Grogg with a smile.


For more information about the 2015 Eastern North Carolina Faith and Beauty Women’s Conference, please contact Candida Grogg at 910-381-8388.


The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit