Annie Armstrong

 Annie Armstrong by Louise Barbour

Annie Walker Armstrong was the first corresponding secretary (executive director) of Woman's Missionary Union. She was born on July 11, 1850, in Baltimore, Maryland. Her family was very active in Baptist life. Annie went with her mother to the missionary meetings of Woman's Mission to Woman. There she developed a heart for missions. Annie helped plant churches, served those who lived in poverty and addiction, and organized other women to help her reach out to African Americans, Native Americans, and impoverished people in rural areas. In 1882, Annie helped organize the Woman's Baptist Home Mission Society of Maryland. She was the first president of the society.

During this time, women around the United States were developing missional lives. On May 14, 1888, women from 12 states met in Richmond, Virginia. They formed the Executive Committee of Woman's Mission Societies, Auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1888, Annie Armstrong was elected corresponding secretary. Today that position is known as executive director. In 1890 the group became Woman's Missionary Union. Annie Armstrong served WMU until 1906. She did not accept a salary for her work. In 1934 the offering for the Home Mission Board was renamed the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for Home Missions. Annie Armstrong died on December 20, 1938. Woman's Missionary Union was 50 years old.

Important events that happened while Annie Armstrong was director of WMU:

  • 1888 - The motto, "Go Forward" was chosen.​
    • Foreign missions offering established to send a missionary to China to relieve Lottie Moon.
  • 1890 - The organization was officially named Woman’s Missionary Union, Auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention.
    • WMU agreed to raise enough money to support all women foreign missionaries.
  • 1892 - First week of prayer held in connection with the Christmas Offering.
  • 1894 - WMU began promoting work of the Sunday School Board. Extra offering taken to pay Foreign Mission Board debt. The offering went over its goal.
  • 1895 - First week of prayer and offering to pay off Home Mission Board Debt was established.
  • 1896 - WMU adopted Sunbeam work at the request of the Foreign Mission Board.
  • 1899 - WMU recommended that churches use a system of organizations for missionary education. Baby Bands was the first group organized.
  • 1900 - WMU set up and funded the Home Mission’s Board Church Building Loan Fund.
    • WMU opened the Margaret Home for children of missionaries who were overseas.
    • First WMU-sponsored church-wide event – a stewardship emphasis.
  • 1906 - WMU began the process of legal incorporation.
    • WMU adopted a week of prayer for state missions.
    • WMU began publishing literature for sale. Our Mission Fields is the magazine published by WMU.

Annie Resources:

The Life of Annie Armstrong (English)

Introduce your church to Annie Armstrong and her legacy of missions through WMU in this short leaflet. Affordably priced for distribution to the entire congregation, this leaflet will help your church become aware of how the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering got its name. 

Price:  $.99

All About Annie Armstrong

Do your preschoolers know about the amazing life and work of Annie Armstrong? The inside of this leaflet tells her story, explains the life-changing importance of the annual Easter offering, and provides questions about this remarkable woman. The back of the leaflet carries ideas for fun, hands-on missions activities for preschoolers.

Price:  $1.49

Go Forward: The Story of Annie Armstrong

Annie Armstrong comes to life in this vivid account of her life as an early WMU leader. Known as an advocate for missions giving and participation, she worked tirelessly to grow a grassroots missions organization that thrives today. Spend time with her as she experiences the challenges of organizing WMU while following her passion to help people in need.

Price:  $12.99

Missions Bank (Pkg. Of 10)

Use these colorful fold-out banks to encourage those around you to give to missions. Banks can be used for regular missions giving, or for special missions offerings such as the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Place them around your church or in your community and watch them fill up! Ten banks included in each set.

Price:  $10.99 for a pack of 10

e4 Niños: Ofrenda de Resurrección Annie Armstrong

Do your children understand why they give to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering? Download a copy of e4 Children: Annie Armstrong Easter Offering in Spanish to show them how the offering impacts North American missionaries and also how their own giving makes a difference.

Price:  $3.99

Annie Armstrong

Annie Armstrong (1850–1938) worked tirelessly to encourage believers to give more, pray more, and do more for the cause of Christ at home and abroad. She was the leading organizer in the formation of WMU®. A perfect educational tool. Made by women in Thailand through Thai Country Trim, WorldCrafts’ first artisan group in 1996. Measures 5 7/8 inches tall.

Price:  $12.99

Promotional resources (bulletin inserts, logos, videos and more) related to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering are available here on



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