WMU Foundation

A BRICK IN THE PATH

A PAGE FROM THE PAST

Annie Armstrong and Mattie McIntosh encouraged a group of women not to act hastily but to spend a year praying and laying groundwork for a new missions organization. A determined group of women gathered that May morning in 1888, conscious of the years and tears and prayers bringing them to this moment. Some brought their daughters to witness this historic occasion. Mattie McIntosh called for prayer. And then came the roll call. Women from ten states gladly and solemnly voted to be the first official members of what would come to be known as Woman’s Missionary Union.

 

WALK OF FAITH

Can you imagine those women who gathered in 1888? Just a few years before, the Civil War had torn the country apart and most families had experienced devastating loss. These women didn’t have the right to vote and had very little independence at all.

Still, they gathered in Richmond, God calling them as Christian women to take an active part in the Great Commission. Some were fearful and uncertain, but all were committed to being part of God’s mission.

Laying a Foundation

The WMU® Executive Board had gathered in the Kentucky Room at the national office for a regularly scheduled meeting. The day had been filled with committee reports, awards for scholarships and grants for a variety of individuals, and the usual business of WMU. As a second-year state president, I had come to love the comradery and fellowship with this group and looked forward to the two board meetings each year.

Financial concerns for the ongoing work of national WMU had been discussed on numerous occasions. A development office was in place to discover potential funding for the work of WMU. A new proposal came to the floor; one that would move the development office to a full-fledged foundation. The idea was to create a separate entity for the sole purpose of securing the financial support for WMU. The reaction among the board members covered a wide spectrum of thought, from “What a great idea!” to “We absolutely cannot do that.” After much debate, a motion to table the idea was received with a challenge to think and pray.

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