Two North Carolina
teenage ladies took part in this year’s Southern Baptist Convention and Woman’s
Missionary Union (WMU) annual meetings in Phoenix,
Kianni Curry and Cassie Taylor, both of University
Hills Baptist Church
in Charlotte, are two of six
teenagers on the 2011 National Acteens Panel. Acteens is the WMU missions
organization for girls in grades 7-12.
Curry and Taylor are also preparing to take part in Blume
2011 July 13-16 in Orlando, Fla. Blume, formerly known as the National Acteens
Convention, is sponsored every four or five years by WMU.
National panelists, Debby Akerman said to Southern Baptist
Convention (SBC) messengers June 14, are “an
elite group of young women who have demonstrated a strong commitment to Jesus
and to missions through their involvement in Acteens, their church, their
community and their education.They represent the finest among today’s young
Akerman was re-elected to her presidency at the WMU annual
meeting prior to the Southern Baptist Convention.
Wanda S. Lee, national WMU’s executive director, and Akerman
of Myrtle Beach, S.C., were joined by five of WMU’s six National Acteen
Panelists in issuing the invitation to Blume’s sessions.
Akerman asked each Acteen panelist to summarize her
experience at Blume in 2007 in Kansas City
in one word. Their responses were: “impactful,” “extraordinary,” “exhilarating,”
“inspiring” and “fulfilling.” Blume is open to all teen girls (www.blumeforgirls.com).
In other WMU business, Rosalie Hunt of Guntersville,
Ala., was re-elected to a third term as
national recording secretary.
About Curry, Taylor
Curry and Taylor have been involved in Acteens for more than
five years by participating in missions trips, taking part in various
ministries such as Vacation Bible
School, and leading missions
conferences across the state. Since 2009, they both have been on the state’s
Acteens panel. Curry is also a member of her school’s soccer team and book
involved in Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Charlotte
Children’s Choir, and other school activities.
“Missions is about showing God’s love to everyone,” Curry
said. “It requires devotion and commitment to God so you can tell others about
Him and help others in any way that you can.”
Deborah Taylor, Curry’s Acteens leader and Cassie’s mom,
says Curry has a genuine servant’s heart. “Kianni believes in missions and
seeks to find ways to make a difference in the world as well as individual
Cassie said each mission trip has taught her “something new
about myself.” Whether it is drawing on sidewalks or making balloon animals, Taylor
said, “what I love about mission trips is that God gets all the credit.”
“Helping others and doing missions is my way of worshipping
and serving Christ, and (it) brings me true joy,” says Taylor.
“There is no set way it has to be done as long as you are helping and loving on
others, putting them before yourself and sharing the gospel.”
In April, the girls led sessions on icebreakers for groups
taking part in a North Carolina Baptist Men’s missions conference for youth.
The next weekend they were helping with the WMU-NC Missions
Extravaganza at Ridgecrest. Ruby
Fulbright, executive director of WMU-NC, interviewed the girls in front of
Curry said before she thought of missions as “planned and
But then, she went to Canada
and had to learn to be flexible after a car accident left them stranded.
“For the first time in a while I had to sit quiet and
listen,” she said.
The girls made it but their time was almost up. Curry said
they tried to make the best of it and made balloon animals for four hours straight
at an outreach event.
Curry admitted she struggles with finding time for God.
Being part of Acteens has helped her stay organized and prioritize.
The Acteens at University Hills only meet once a month.
“We’ve learned to make those meetings the best they can be,”
Curry thanked Cassie’s mom for her support over the years.
“Miss Deb has been one of the most influential people I’ve
ever met,” said Curry, who met Cassie when they were younger at an ice cream
truck. “The Taylors have been my second
Fulbright said Debbie Taylor “is one of the examples of the
best of the best,” highlighted in her director’s report. University Hills has
had five national panelists since 2000.
During that time there have also been three other ladies
represented on the national panel.
“It’s a privilege to work with girls who tell me we’re not
doing enough,” said Debbie Taylor.
Julie Keith, youth specialist for WMU-NC, describes Cassie
as a leader. “(She) is very intentional in mentoring the younger girls in
Acteens as well as in youth group. Her passion and love for missions is evident
in her church Acteens involvement, but she also helps with associational and
community missions projects.”
Taylor and Curry began serving as national panelists Feb. 1
and will continue through the end of the year. The WMU Foundation has also
awarded each of the young women a $1,000 scholarship from the Jessica Powell
Loftis Endowment for Acteens.
At Blume the panelists will have program responsibilities
during all general sessions, and will be featured in other ways as well.
In addition, the panelists will have the opportunity to
write for The Mag, the missions magazine for Acteens, and for
www.wmu.com/students. Throughout the year, Curry and Taylor will work together
with the other panelists to shape the future of Acteens.
WMU also recognizes Hayley Baxley of Galeed
in Bladenboro as a National Top Teen.
Other WMU news
During the WMU’s “Proclaim” event June 12-13, WMU leaders
heard from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary President Jeff Iorg,
International Mission Board President Tom Elliff and North American Mission
Board President Kevin Ezell. Ezell gave Lee the “hand off” for Royal
Ambassadors with a large cut-out race car and presentation of badges.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — For full stories about the WMU report at
the SBC and the WMU annual meeting, visit www.biblicalrecorder.org/resources/SBC2011.aspx.)