Missouri WMU honors three, does business at annual meeting - Word&Way

Missouri WMU honors three, does business at annual meeting

Carolyn Houts, left, is recognized as Emeritus Missionary of the Year by Missouri WMU President Joan Dotson and Executive Director Laura Wells. (Word&Way photo)

WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Missouri Woman’s Missionary Union honored three women and elected officers during its 89th annual session April 12-13.

Meeting at First Baptist Church in Warrensburg, Mo., attendees celebrated the 125th anniversary of the founding of the national organization by honoring Carolyn Houts as Emeritus Missionary of the Year and marking the service of Beulah Peoples and Earlene Rogers.

Born in Hamburg, Iowa, Houts grew up near Maryville, Mo. Appointed by the Foreign (now International) Mission Board in 1976, Houts served as a music promoter in Ghana, retiring in 2011.

At the annual meeting, Houts shared the story of the pastor of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Ghana who wanted the people to be able to sing hymns in their mother tongue. His dream was to translate two verses of each of 50 hymns. At first, he wrote the translations between the lines in English-language hymnals.

Houts offered to help the last few years she served in the country. He would write out the translation and Houts, with the help of a software program, would type them. In 2010, a hymnal with 50 songs was published.

Both Peoples and Rogers have contributed to Missouri WMU efforts.

Born and reared in Missouri, Peoples served for 26 years in Tennessee and almost 13 years as church and community services director and as executive director of WMU for the Baptist Convention of New England. She retired and returned to Missouri in 1997.

Rogers has been a longtime MWMU member who served the organization in several capacities and has participated in numerous mission trips with WMU. Neither Peoples nor Rogers was able to attend.

During the business session on April 13, members reelected Joan Dotson to a fifth term as president. Dotson is a member of First Baptist Church in Lake St. Louis.

In addition, members agreed to the establishment of a new officer position by choosing Cherri Crump of First Baptist Church in Rolla as the organization’s first president-elect. Crump will work closely with Dotson throughout the MWMU year and will step up as president at the next annual meeting.

She will serve as an ex-officio member of the MWMU board and the MWMU council and attend all meetings.

If for any reason Dotson could not fulfill her duties as president, the vice president, not the president-elect, would take over. Edna White of South Gate Baptist Church, Springfield, was elected as vice president.

Other officers elected to serve in the 2013-2014 year include Nancy LaChance, Second Baptist Church, Lebanon, secretary; Belinda Hogan, First Baptist, Trenton, treasurer; Jeannie Campbell, Grover Park Baptist, Warrensburg, West Central region consultant; Shirley Andrus, Buck Prairie Baptist, Marionville, Southwest region consultant; Stephanie Wolcott, Raintree Baptist, Hillsboro, communications consultant; Norma Altis, Liberty Manor Baptist, Liberty, chair of the nominating committee; and Sharon Wildermuth, First Baptist, Willard, and Brenda Poinsett, First Baptist, St. Clair, as nominating committee members-at-large.

The Missouri organization recorded 468 attendees to this year’s event. Attendees gave $2,611 to the Madge N. Truex Fund, which provides a monetary gift to emeritus missionaries at Christmas, to new missionaries when they start their careers and to missionaries returning to the field after a stateside assignment. The fund also provides seminary scholarships, and covers some travel expenses for missionary children to attend a reentry retreat.

Attendees also contributed 786 items of children’s clothing, 4,716 personal care items, cash and gift cards for the Lighthouse ministry in Kansas City.

Several individuals and churches created 286 pillow-case dresses and 54 pairs of shorts to be distributed in Kentucky, West Africa, Haiti and Bolivia.