Share in the Celebration: The Story Lives On

feature_annualFor national WMU, June 2013 kicks off 12 months of celebrating 125 years of WMU. We are all invited to be in on the fun.

On p. 19 of the June issue of Missions Mosaic, there is an ad inviting readers to share WMU stories.  You are invited to share a short note (125 words or less), medium post (blog post of 250 words), or longer thoughts (550 words or less).  You can also send in old photos.  Email this material to [email protected].

Kentucky WMU has been celebrating all year as we have used The Story Lives On theme.  At our 2013 Annual Meeting we had a 125th WMU Birthday Celebration and Heritage Fund Banquet where we invited participants to write WMU stories and post them on our time line.   As we celebrate this year, I will be sharing some of the stories posted.   The stories we received were in response to “How I became involved in WMU ” and “WMU’s impact on my life.”  (Due to space, I can only include parts of each story.)

Pat Key (First Baptist Church, Central City): In the early 1940’s, my dad was in the army in Brazil. Mom’s parents lived in Central City where we attended church. I became very involved with GAs.  Later I advanced to YWAs.  I still have my white Bible that was presented to me when I married. In 1956 I began working in GA camps as a WMU State Worker. My summers were filled with wonderful activities all over the state of Kentucky. Mary Pat Price was my wonderful leader for four summers….I met my husband at Cedarmore while he was there for a Royal Ambassadors meeting. When we later moved to Michigan, I had the priviledge of serving as state YWA/Acteen director.  I traveled to many different churches in Michigan and organized camp activities there. When we moved back to Kentucky, I have had the blessed experience of serving as a Kentucky WMU Executive Board member….

Connie Meridith (Crestwood Baptist Church): My mom took me to her Baptist Women’s meetings as a baby – circa 1951.  I was a Sunbeam, GA, YWA, BYW and now Women on Mission.  My mom’s example of making missions a priority has served as a guideline for my missions involvement – as an Acteen leader, GA leader, Mission Friend, WMU Director. I have often helped get and organziation started, developed leadership, and then started another.  I called it Ministry Planting.

Betty Rucker (Pleasureville Baptist Church): I became involved because of an invitation to GAs by a Godly woman in my church, who died last year at the age of 94. She inspired me to be missions-minded, along with another wonderful lady who always did the mission study in VBS.  For nine years I served as Associational WMU Director of Henry County Association. My son and his wife, before serving as pastor, served in Montana for one year as volunteer missionaries.  My desire for missions involvement affected my son.  My love for WMU keeps me focused…

Megan Johnson (Dunmor Baptist Church): When I didn’t have school on Thursdays in the summer, I started going to the Women on Mission meetings at my church.  I really liked it….I started understanding missions more and started to like it even more.  I want to be a part of WMU for the rest of my life.

Tina Nicely (Bells Run Baptist Church): I started teaching Acteens in 1986. I love encouraging young ladies to share Jesus.  A good friend of mine felt led to start a BYW group and we met in my home.  Sometimes we had 3 or 4, but usually it was just the two of us.  I was the person that always led the mission book study and we had one the night of 9/11.  There were about 12 of us praying for more ladies and that night we had 35 women.   I know first hand how missionaries feel about prayer after 4 rounds of lung cancer.  I knew I had an awesome group of women praying for me and all the cards were truly amazing.

Marcia Ballard (Allansville Baptist Church): I grew up in WMU!  I was in Sunbeams, GAs, Acteens and Women on Mission. As an Acteen I realized that I should not just learn about missions but be more involved in doing missions.  Through many WMU experiences, I have learned how many people need to hear about Jesus, not just in foreign countries, but right here in Kentucky. I constantly feel challenged to determine how I can help meet needs and share Christ.

Laverne Sublette (First Baptist Church, Fulton): I became a Baptists at age 22. God revealed to me that there was more than regular services. I soon found the WMU and that was my mission. I worked with all ages in a number of churches….I was privileged to serve on the State WMU Executive Board. This has been the love and joy of my life.  I’ve been blessed in being able to attend the last 35 years (consecutively) at the state meetings.  Also a number before.

Julia DeVore (Three Forks Bacon Creek Baptist Church): I became involved serving in 1975 as GA leader for a church…following in steps that led me to Kentucky now as Association WMU Director at Lynn Association.  I could never envision my life without WMU. The ways I can show my love for others in Christ and “Be what makes Christ smile” I hope.  WMU completes me.

Peggy Wagner (Rose Hill Baptist Church): When I was 9 years old our little Baptist Church at Olive Hill started GAs. Our leaders really encouraged us to complete our “Forward Steps.”  I completed the Maiden and began the Lady-in-Waiting. When I was 13 we moved to West Virginia. As an Acteen, I continued my Forward Steps being crowned Queen my Senior year in high school…….The scripture I memorized as a GA doing the Forward Steps has been the foundation for my life….

Marilyn Seelig (Beaver Dam Baptist Church):  ….My grandmother lived with us the last 15 years of her life. I can still see her every morning with her Bible and Royal Service, praying for “our” missionaries.  I found the power of prayer through WMU.

Dolores Gilmore (First Baptist Church, Henderson): ….WMU has expanded my worldview and opened my eyes and heart to the lost and discouraged people around me and around the world. I have been challenged, stretched, and encouraged to do even more for my Lord…..

Brenda Williams Herron (West Fork Baptist Church): …..WMU helped fulfill my desire and calling as a 10-year old girl to be a missionary and kept the fire burning in my heart.

More stories to come in future blogs!  What’s your WMU story?  Send it to Missions Mosaic and be sure to copy me on your email!  ([email protected]).

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About Joy Bolton

Joy Bolton is a life-long WMUer! Through Woman's Missionary Union, Joy has has served as a church, association, and state leader. She has coordinated many international missions teams and is available as a conference leader, speaker, Bible study leader. Joy is now retired and lives in Summerville, SC.