ST. JOSEPH — No one is certain who chose the Scripture passage tied to the theme for M-Counter, the Missouri Woman’s Missionary Union/women’s missions and ministry event April 9-10. But 1 Chronicles 28:8-10 became a starting point to honor
North American Mission Board missionary Vivian McCaughan throughout the weekend.
McCaughan, who continues to battle ovarian cancer, has taken medical leave from her responsibilities as Missouri WMU/ women’s mission and ministry specialist and multihousing church planting catalytic missionary for the Missouri Baptist Convention. Program personnel and attendees honored her in several ways.
The Scripture passage is the story of King David letting go of life and giving direction to his son, Solomon, who was to step into the leadership role, Bible study leader and author Brenda Poinsett explained.
“No one knows who selected the passage, but we suspect it was Vivian,” Poinsett said. “But God knew [the verses would be appropriate] and somehow orchestrated that.”
During the WMU’s business session, MBC executive director David Tolliver paid tribute to the colleague he has known and worked with for more than 25 years, using Philippians 1:3-6.
“When I read this passage, I think of my good friend, Vivian,” he said.
He recalled how McCaughan would often call his wife, Myra, just to ask how she was doing. McCaughan also would often send an uplifting card to him or to Myra, especially when she was aware of difficulties they might have been facing.
Tolliver added that relationship has always been at the heart of McCaughan’s ministry — focusing on people as individuals and their needs.
When Tolliver served as pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, California, McCaughan showed him “how a small country church…could be involved in multihousing ministry,” he said, and led them to start an outreach in an apartment complex.
Although McCaughan “continues to live in victory,” the executive director said, now is the time to face the realization that the work must continue without her at the helm. “It is time for us to take up the mantle,” he said. “It appears time for us to take up the baton.”
Acknowledging that it would take at least five or six people to step into all the roles McCaughan has assumed for Missouri Baptists, Tolliver asked the women to bring their ideas for continuing the work to him.
McCaughan was among NAMB missionaries featured in this year’s Week of Prayer for North American Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. The portion of the emphasis video that featured her work was played.
In honor of her ministry, participants gave more than $1,011 to the Alberta Gilpin Fund, which supports special projects, new age-level organizations, leadership development and other programming.