WMU elects officers, honors emeritus missionary couple - Word&Way

WMU elects officers, honors emeritus missionary couple

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Members of Missouri Woman’s Missionary Union elected officers and honored emeritus missionaries when they gathered for their 91st annual meeting April 10-11 at First Baptist Church here.

Emmett and LaNelle Barnes

Missouri WMU President Cherri Crump (left) recognizes Emmett and La Nell Barnes as 2015 Emeritus Missionaries of the Year.

Attendees approved the slate of officers presented by the nominating committee, including Cherri Crump of First Baptist Church in Rolla as president, Edna White of South Gate Baptist Church in Springfield as vice president, Mary Ann Randall of Hillcrest Baptist in Lebanon as secretary and Belinda Hogan of First Baptist Church in Trenton as treasurer.

Named regional consultants were Donna Lawson of First Baptist Church in Labelle for the northeast, Becky Hale of Hickory Hills Baptist Church in Eugene for the central region and Pamela Stark of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Doniphan for the southeast.

Joyce Baxter of First Southern Baptist Church in Ava will serve as nominating committee chair, with Connie Handyside of Alexandria Baptist Church in Alexandria and Shirley Allen of Forest Park Baptist Church in Joplin as nominating committee members-at-large.

A total of 366 people attended this year’s meeting, including members of Girls in Action from Troy and Middletown.

WMU honored Emmett and LaNell Barnes as the 2015-2016 Emeritus Missionaries of the Year. The Barneses, who served with the Foreign (now International) Mission Board in Beirut, Lebanon, shared that they had had “good experiences” in the Middle East with Christian and Muslim friends.

Barnes thanked attendees for sending and supporting them as they lived in peacetime and war for 27 years in Lebanon, where they served at the seminary.

“Don’t fall into fear of the Muslim people because fear leads to hate,” he said.

WMU members auctioned 50 gift baskets and raised $1,875 for the Alberta Gilpin Fund. Gilpin served state WMU for 33 years, including as executive director. The fund provides $100 to assist churches in starting WMU.

Attendees also gave about $2,800 for the Madge Truex Fund, which provides monetary gifts to emeritus missionaries and to active personnel returning to the field after stateside assignments. The fund also supports an annual missionary retreat and a meeting for parents of missionaries.