Wanda Lee

Are You Willing to Follow Where He Leads?

As I read the words, my eyes began to tear. The Prayer Patterns focus in Missions Mosaic was on Moses. Judith Edwards wrote, "‘Burning bush’ experiences come without warning and often in ways that are indescribable in human words. Any encounter with God causes us to examine where we have been and what may lie ahead, but ‘burning bush’ encounters are those that catch us by surprise, take our breath away because of their inexplicable wonder, and sometimes leave us asking, ‘God! Are you sure?’”

That sums up my journey to national WMU. In a way, that sums up my entire life. I am the daughter of a coal miner and foundry worker and have been caught by surprise time and time again. Repeatedly I have asked, “God! Are you sure?”

A friend sent me a book by Alton Lee Webb. In Go Outside, he writes, “So, if you feel completely called and completely inadequate at the same time, you are in the perfect place to get up, get out, and change the world.”1 I do feel completely called and utterly inadequate.

WMU opening sessions honor Lee, highlight missions

Women registering at WMU missions celebration

ST. LOUIS (BP) -- About 500 Southern Baptists gathered June 12 for the opening sessions of WMU's 2016 Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Mo.

With a theme of "By All Means," the two Sunday programs recognized current and retired missionaries, as well as International Mission Board staff, and celebrated Wanda Lee's service as she retires as executive director of WMU.

"I believe just as strongly today as I did 16 years ago that WMU is important to the Kingdom," she said. "We have the opportunity to make a difference. Our charge first and foremost is to be a light to the nations. There is strength in our union. There is strength in our collective purpose of missions. May our song truly be a song for the nations."

Lee said she was working as a nurse when God called her to missions. When she returned home to serve in the U.S., her call to missions did not end.

"My calling was to go wherever God leads," she said. "My call has not changed, only the place. No other ministry in Baptist life devotes itself exclusively to missions. What we do matters because we are shining a light."

WMU highlights missional discipleship

Wanda Lee addressing audience

ST. LOUIS (BP) -- Wanda S. Lee, executive director of national WMU, thanked Southern Baptists for partnering through missions education to equip the next generation of missionaries, an endeavor she described as more critical than ever before in an increasingly postmodern world.

Lee noted to messengers June 15 at the SBC annual meeting: "It is our desire to partner with every Southern Baptist church in discipling preschoolers, children, youth and adults by engaging them in meaningful missions involvement right in their own communities or on the other side of the world; to support those who go to the nations for a lifetime with our praying and giving; and to accept the mandate of the Great Commission in whatever way God calls us."

National WMU President Linda Cooper thanked Southern Baptists for the largest Lottie Moon Christmas Offering in the history of the offering.

"When the financial needs were made known, Southern Baptists stepped up as they always have and gave over $165.8 million dollars," Cooper said. "This is a reminder that what we do together is far greater than anything we can do alone as one person or one church."

Lee honored for 20 years leading national WMU

Wanda Lee Portrait

ST. LOUIS (BP) -- Approximately 150 Southern Baptist leaders, family members and friends from across the country gathered in St. Louis on June 11 to honor Wanda Lee and her leadership of national WMU over the past 20 years -- 16 as executive director and four as president.

Frank S. Page said he got to know Lee in 2010 when he assumed his current role as president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee. Page recited Micah 6:8, "What does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

"I believe Wanda Lee has exhibited that great trio of imperatives from our Lord," Page said. "I believe she has done what is right, what is just. She is merciful, and many of you are the recipients of her mercy and ministry in your own life. She is a strategist, an organizational genius, yet is always humble and gives credit to those around her. I am honored to call her my friend, and I thank God for her."

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.

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