Cooper requests prayer, names search committee for WMU executive director

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala,) – Feb. 8, 2016 – National WMU President Linda Cooper has issued a call to prayer for those serving on the national search committee charged with identifying the woman God would have as the next executive director for national WMU.

On Jan. 11, Wanda Lee, who has served as executive director since 2000, announced to the WMU board her intention to retire, giving ample notice for a search committee to be formed and seek a new leader.

Cooper said she prayed earnestly for God’s direction as she selected search committee members who have extensive experience in WMU and represent various geographical locations.

The committee members are Joy Bolton, executive director of Kentucky WMU, who will serve as chairperson; Debby Akerman, former national WMU president (2010-2015); Jill McNicol, president of Illinois WMU; Kathy Sheldon, president of Pennsylvania/South Jersey WMU; and June Tate, president of Colorado WMU.

“Above all, I am confident these women will take this task very seriously, seeking the Lord’s guidance in all they do in every step of this process,” Cooper said. “I encourage every Southern Baptist to pray intentionally and daily for the committee, for me, and for the one whom God already has selected who will lead WMU forward.

“I also ask you pray for Wanda who will continue to lead WMU in the meantime,” Cooper continued. “She has given her all to lead us for the past 16 years and is committed to a seamless transition in leadership. I thank God for her and for other strong missions leaders in our churches who know first-hand how God uses missions discipleship through WMU to change lives.”

Including Lee, national WMU has had just seven leaders since its inception in 1888: Annie Armstrong (1888–1906), Edith Campbell Crane (1907–1911), Kathleen Mallory (1912–­1948), Alma Hunt (1948–1974), Carolyn Weatherford Crumpler (1974–1989), and Dellanna O’Brien (1989–1999).

The committee will begin their work immediately. Recommendations and resumes may be sent to WMU Search Committee, c/o Joy Bolton, Kentucky WMU, 13420 Eastpoint Centre Drive, Louisville, 40223; or by email to Joy.Bolton@kybaptist.org, to be received no later than May 1.

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