Baptist and Reflector
COOKEVILLE — In their first annual meeting outside of Gatlinburg since the early 1990s, members of Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union elected a new president, along with other officers and promotional directors, and approved revisions to their bylaws.
The meeting was held May 1 at First Baptist Church, Cookeville. Until about 1993, the annual meeting was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Convention in November, according to Vickie Anderson, executive director of Tennessee WMU. The WMU executive board voted then to move the meeting to be held in conjunction with the Missions Get-Together in Gatlinburg each year.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, forced the cancelation of Get-Together in 2020 and this year’s event was held virtually.
Yolanda Heuser, a member of Lantana Road Baptist Church, Crossville, was elected president, succeeding Martha Pitts, a member of Germantown Baptist Church, Germantown, who served an extra year as president due to the pandemic.
Heuser recalled that it took “28 months of praying, sometimes multiple times daily, begging God to show me that this is the path He has chosen for me for such a time as this.”
“The first time someone said you will be the next president I began my rebellion of NO!,” Heuser said. “However, God said YES! So, I stand before you today to say that God will equip each of us to do the work He has asked us to do.
“We don’t need to know why or even understand what He is asking us to do, we must be a willing vessel, a living sacrifice, dedicated to serving Him by simply saying, Here I am, Lord, send me,” she said (see story on Heuser on page 3).
In addition to revising bylaws, participants also heard from International Mission Board missionaries Charlie and Shannon Worthy who are currently residing at Mary’s House, the WMU missionary house on the property of the Missions Mobilization Center in Mount Juliet.
The participants also contributed an offering of $2,010 for materials and work needed at the MMC Missions House, the other missionary house on the Mount Juliet property.
“We appreciate the 2020-21 officers and promotion directors who had to serve an extra year due to the cancelation of last year’s annual meeting because of the pandemic,” Anderson said.
“We are thankful that COVID-19 protocols lifted enough for the 2021 annual meeting to be called for and setup in a month’s time so that we could move forward with the election of new officers and promotion directors. We apologize that the quick scheduling and notice kept many people from being able to attend,” she added.
In addition to Heuser, the following officers were elected:
Recording Secretary: Charlyene Couey-Moore, Judson Baptist Church, Nashville Association;
President East: Sheila Hall, Maynardville First Baptist Church, Northern Association
Vice President Middle: Ramona Hicks, Hampton’s Crossroads Baptist Church, Cookeville, Stone Association
Vice President West: Sandy Louden, Martin, McRae’s Chapel Outdoorsman Baptist Church, Big Sandy, Western District Association
Elected as promotional directors were:
Northeast: Teresa Larkin, Sullivan Baptist Church, Kingsport, Sullivan Baptist Association
East: Shelby Lord, Calvary Baptist Church, Lenoir City, Loudon County Baptist Association
North Central: Deona Lee Thomas, Hickman Baptist Church, Hickman, New Salem Baptist Association
Central: Phyllis Cobb, Rock Springs Baptist Church, Greenbrier, Robertson County Baptist Association
South Central: Amy Leimer, First Baptist Church Fayetteville, William Carey Baptist Association
Northwest: Sheilah Spangler, Salem Baptist Church, Trenton, Gibson Baptist Association
Southwest: Diane Sorrell, Liberty Baptist Church, Covington, Big Hatchie Baptist Association
Anderson said Tennessee WMU is invited to attend the National WMU Missions Celebration and annual meeting to be held June 13 from 1-5 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Nashville, prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, set for June 15-16 in Nashville. B&R