By Chris Turner
FRANKLIN — Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union president Yolanda Heuser announced her resignation effectively immediately, citing a recently developed chronic health issue as her reason for stepping away from continuing in the role.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have made a decision to tender my resignation effective immediately, based on my current health issues,” Heuser said. “I love the women who make up the Tennessee WMU and the WMU mission to aid individuals into carrying out the great commission.”
Heuser, a member of Lantana Road Baptist Church, Crossville, was elected to become the 31st president of Tennessee WMU at the 2021 Tennessee WMU annual meeting in Cookeville since it could not be held in conjunction with the annual Mission Get-Together. She was reelected this year during the organization’s annual business session held April 2 in Gatlinburg in conjunction with Missions Get-Together.
Heuser said she began developing a breathing issue shortly after her reelection that she initially attributed to allergies, but over the course of weeks she developed shortness of breath, an “annoying cough” and severe pain in her back and over her right lung. Lab work reveled a rare non-contagious bacterium growing in her lungs and exacerbated by contracting COVID-19.
Despite antibiotic treatments, the condition has worsened with recent CT scans indicating there has been no improvement following treatments.
“I appreciate the way Yolanda has pushed through her health issues these past months to continue serving as Tennessee WMU president,” said Vickie Anderson, Tennessee WMU executive director. “But I agree that it is time for her to focus more on her health and her family. She has served in many areas of the church, association and state with excellence and passion and will continue to do so — just with a more narrowed ministry focus for this time and season.
“She has the full love, prayers and support of her Tennessee WMU family.”
Heuser became involved in missions at Lantana Road Baptist Church where she has served as the church’s Girls Auxiliary (GA) coordinator and teaches GAs. Additionally, she joined the church’s staff as missions director after serving on the church’s missions planning team for 11 years.
Heuser became involved with Tennessee WMU 13 years ago and has served in various capacities, including service on the Executive Board for 11 years and two years as Middle Tennessee vice president
“There comes a time that we have to move forward and make decisions that are best for all entities and individuals involved,” Heuser said. “I feel that the time has come to take my personal wants and desires out of the equation and to move forward and do what is best for the Tennessee WMU. While I am not able to continue with the responsibilities as president; I am by no means going to relinquish my duties in fulfilling the great commission as my health allows.”
Ramona Hicks, of Hampton’s Crossroads Baptist Church, Cookeville, who has been serving as regional vice president, will succeed Heuser in accordance with Tennessee WMU’s bylaws. B&R