WMU-NC plans unhindered future
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
April 26, 2011

WMU-NC plans unhindered future

WMU-NC plans unhindered future
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
April 26, 2011

In many parts of society, girls don’t matter much.

During her annual report to the Woman’s Missionary Union of

North Carolina (WMU-NC) annual

meeting, Ruby Fulbright shared the story of a missionary driving through a

heavily populated area overseas. A crowd surged near a bus stop pushing a

four-year-old girl in front of his car. A policeman said it was an accident but

urged the missionary to pay for the child’s funeral.

The missionary, who was

also a father, wanted to do more.

The four-year-old’s father said, “Don’t worry about it. It

was only a girl.”

Fulbright pointed out that it was only girls who began WMU

125 years ago. Fannie E.S. Heck, 24, and Sallie Bailey, a teenager and daughter

of the Biblical Recorder editor, began meeting with other women in borrowed

Methodist churches because their Baptist brothers “did not favor women in

missions endeavors or church business,” Fulbright said.

Fulbright shared this story April 9 during her WMU-NC

executive director’s report with more than 1,000 girls. The 1,036 registered

women gathered at Ridgecrest Conference Center April 8-10 for its 120th annual


During the weekend of sessions the women focused on Heb.

12:1-2 and being Unhindered.

BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

State and national Woman’s Missionary Union leaders prepare to cut the cake to celebrate the state organization’s 125th birthday. See photo gallery.

When Fulbright was just a girl, she recollects her time as a

Sunbeam, learning that God loved her. She was still a girl when she learned

that she could pray and bring money.

Fulbright recognized two girls and their leader. Cassie

Taylor and Kianni Curry are serving as National Acteen panelists. Their leader,

Deborah Taylor, guides the Acteens at University Hills Baptist Church in


North Carolina has had eight national panelists since 2000; five of

those have been from University Hills.

During 2010 WMU added 133 new organizations in 55 different


Fulbright mentioned the recent news of the Royal Ambassador

program returning to the national WMU.

She said she and Richard Brunson,

executive director of North Carolina Baptist Men, “are excited” about providing

missions education to these boys.

The women approved the budget during a business session. It

takes $100,000 each month to keep the WMU-NC office and ministries running.

In January, the leadership met with Chris Gambill of the Center

for Congregational Health to discuss strategic planning for WMU-NC’s future.

Five things need to be addressed:

  • Financial development
  • Communication/technology
  • Camp Mundo Vista
  • Volunteer base
  • Strategic planning

During the weekend sessions women were open to discuss these

items with Gambill and help WMU-NC focus on dreams and hopes for the future of

the organization.

She also encouraged the ladies to help WMU find a volunteer

grant writer as well as some donors with deep pockets to help ensure a brighter


“We’ve used all our time and energy and resources just

surviving,” said Fulbright. “May we have the same courage and wisdom and

strength to see further and to walk boldly into the future. I think that’s what

girls would do.”

In its offering WMU-NC collected $24,127. The funds were

designated: $15,235 for Crown Club; $170 for Heck-Jones Offering; $50 for

prison ministry; $75 for Camp Mundo Vista; $345 for operating expenses; and

$8,252 for the Missions Extravaganza (ME) offering.

Each year a ministry or two is highlighted and an offering

is taken. This year’s ME is divided among Project HELP: Human Exploitation in

North Carolina and Project Dorcas, the first Christian Women’s Job Corps site

in South Africa. The Crown Club was introduced at the meeting. In 1913 Heck

penned a book In Royal Service that followed the mission work of Southern

Baptist women. Those donating $125 will be recognized as prince or princess

giving to royal service of missions. A king/queen gift is $1,250, and the royal

plan is $5,000 (divided as $1,250 a year for four years).

One of the rooms was set aside for Project HELP: Human

Exploitation Interactive Experience. Participants could learn about many areas

of human exploitation in the world as well as in North Carolina and ways to

respond. Women put together 300 backpacks and boxes of stuffed animals,

blankets and books for ministries across the state.

Past, present, future

Three speakers highlighted being unhindered in the past,

present and future. Nancy Curtis, former executive director-treasurer talked

about the past.

Curtis, who lives in New Mexico, discussed the failed first

effort to organize.

“Fannie and Sallie only did it because they were so young

they didn’t know better,” Curtis said. “They were not perfect … but they did

not back away from work.”

Curtis talked of the nameless ones who gave of themselves to

ensure missions was supported.

“It was seldom easy,” she said. “We must tell our story for

no one will do it for us.”

In highlighting the present, Christine Harper, a Sisters Who

Care facilitator within the WMU-NC leadership network, urged the women to run

with passion, purpose and perspective.

“I believe greatness was imagined for this organization,”

Harper said.

Women should consider those who ran before them and what

they personally must lay aside — “not necessarily a sin but a weight that keeps

us … from sharing the love of Christ,” she said.

Over these last 125 years, God has been refining the women

of WMU-NC, said Gina Smith, WMU leadership network specialist for children.

“We just have to be available,” Smith said. “Our future

depends on us being willing to be moldable and fillable.

“We don’t know what the future holds. God carries that for

us. All we have to know is who holds the future.”


The Nominating Committee report was approved with the

following for 2011-2012:

  • Officers — Tana Hartsell, president; Robin Penninger, vice

    president; Beth McDonald, recording secretary; Dee Dee Moody, assistant

    recording secretary.

  • Members-at-large — Claire T. Presley, region 1; Brenda Rose,

    region 2; Jeanette Walters, region 2; Christine Matchett, region 3; Dorothy

    Barham, region 4; Laura Davis, region 4; Linda C. Beaver, region 5; Linda B.

    Plummer, region 5; Delores Thomas, region 6; Beth B. Beam, region 8; Sandi

    Heavener, region 8; Kristen Trull, region 9.

Sandra James, past president, led a time of dedication for

the new officers and members.

In her parting address, outgoing president Delores Thomas,

said she had enjoyed serving the WMU-NC and the prayers of the women involved.

She pledged to continue to serve and was approved as an at-large member.

Related items

Video: Greetings from national WMU leaders

Video: Fannie Heck talks of the women who lead WMU-NC

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