Baldwin Associationís WMU marks 100 yearscomment (0)
May 8, 2014
By Bruce Sims
With traditional Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU)-style pomp and circumstance, complete with a parade of flags, Baldwin Baptist Association’s WMU celebrated its 100th anniversary April 26.
About 175 people gathered at First Baptist Church, Foley, for a mid-morning tea and program.
Along with the reading of the day’s prayer calendar by Christine Ponder, a member of First Baptist Church, Robertsdale, Baldwin Association WMU director Susan Bartholomew also shared with the group.
Bartholomew said, “Going, giving and serving is the motto for WMU. In our 100-year history our association has had only 12 directors. This speaks volumes about the commitment of you ladies as you attend the meetings to pray for our missionaries, teach GAs (Girls in Action) and RAs (Royal Ambassadors) as well as sponsor various offerings within the church, such as Lottie Moon at Christmas and Annie Armstrong at Easter.”
Seven of the eight living directors were present for the anniversary celebration.
Along with noting various historical facts about WMU, Bartholomew also mentioned fun facts about Baldwin County.
For instance, Baldwin County is larger than the state of Rhode Island, she said. And the only place mail is delivered by water in the United States is along the Magnolia Springs River Route. Two Baptist churches with strong WMU groups, Magnolia Springs Baptist and Vernant Park Baptist in Foley, can be found near its shores, she added.
The event also included music by Charis, a trio from First Baptist Church, Fairhope — Dee Pace, Laureen Davis and Sharon Pippin — and the announcement of the 2014 Annie Rhodes Memorial Scholarship Fund winners.
Baldwin Association WMU has given scholarship money to girls attending Judson College in Marion, Samford University in Birmingham and the University of Mobile (UMobile) since 1972. More than $80,000 in scholarship money has been given away through the years. The scholarship fund is named in memory of Baldwin Association’s first WMU director.
Kay Stewart, a member of New Life Baptist Church, Bay Minette, and a member of the Alabama WMU board of trustees, announced the 2014 recipients. They are: Ashley Jones, a member of Durant Chapel Baptist Church, Bay Minette, who will attend UMobile; Miranda Brown, a member of First, Robertsdale, who will attend Judson; Hannah Prestwood, also of First, Robertsdale, who will attend UMobile; and Justine Crotts, a member of 3Circle Baptist Church, Fairhope, who will attend UMobile.
‘Here I am Lord. Send me.’
Guest speaker for the event was Kim Hardy, an author and motivational speaker from Marietta, Ga. She focused on Romans 10:1–15 as she encouraged the WMU members to be available and open for ministry service.
“All it takes is the simple prayer of, ‘Here I am Lord. Send me.’ Believe me when I say that He will,” Hardy said. “It may be in ways we never thought of before, but His ways are what He meant in terms of our life’s purpose.
“This is an opportunity to leave a legacy for not only your family but for the Lord as well,” she said. “Yes, it means stepping out on faith, and yes, it will be a challenge, but the Lord will guide you when you commit your talents to Him, and simply go forth and serve.”