Click thru here to see the GA and Acteens Timeline, with photos
The GA watchword "Arise, shine, for thy light is come" (Isa. 60:1) was designated in 1924.
The first GA hymn was "We've a Story to Tell."
The GA Star Ideals were:
- Abiding in Him through prayer,
- Advancing in wisdom by Bible study,
- Acknowledging my stewardship,
- Adorning myself with good works, and
- Accepting the challenge of the Great Commission.
The following allegiance statement was recited in their meetings where girls studied denominational programs and SBC leaders, memorized Scripture passages, and participated in service projects:
Knowing that countless people grope in darkness and giving attention to his commands, I assert my allegiance to Jesus Christ, to his church and its activities, attempting with God's help to abide in him through prayer, to advance in wisdom by Bible study, to acknowledge my stewardship of time, money, and personality, to adorn myself with good works, and to accept the challenge of the Great Commission.
Green, white, and gold. (See under "GA Emblem" for significance of colors.)
The emblem was a white star bearing the gold GA monogram and enclosed by a green octagon edged with gold. The star represented the Star Ideals. The colors of the GA emblem were meaningful—the green was for growth; the white for purity; and the gold for sincerity.
World Comrades was the first magazine for GAs, RAs, and Sunbeams. In 1953, Tell was published specifically for GAs. In 1970, Tell became Discovery and in 1995, WMU began publishing GA World for younger GAs, in grades 1–3. It currently now goes through grade 6.
The Girls' Auxiliary Forward Steps program began as a way for young girls to learn about missions and Baptist doctrine, participate in hands-on missions projects, understand the Scriptures, and gain proficiency in practical skills such as reading, writing, and sewing; Forward Steps was introduced in 1928 through the magazine World Comrades. For each step, achievement was recognized by emblems and armbands.
Forward Steps Scripture Memorization Requirements
Studying and memorizing Scripture verses were key elements of Forward Steps. Click here for a .pdf of some (not all) of the Forward Step requirements pertaining to studying the Scriptures.
In the mid-1950s manuals and leadership guides were rewritten and Forward Steps were given more details and attention. In 1967 separate handbooks regarding Forward Steps appeared.
In Junior Girls' Auxiliary, the steps were Maiden, Lady-in-Waiting, Princess, Queen, and the optional step, Queen in Service. Intermediate GAs worked towards Queen, Queen with a Scepter, Queen Regent, and the optional step, Queen Regent-in-Service.
Reviewing councils were established and appointed by the church WMU President. These adults reviewed completed work of the requirements for each step and either passed them to the next level or mentored them until they were able to complete the step.
Forward Step emblems were usually awarded to the girls at Coronation or Presentation Services, after the girls work was approved by the Review Council.
Emblems were as follows:
- Maiden: Green Octagon
- Lady-in-Waiting: White Star
- Princess: Gold GA Monogram
- Queen: Add Gold Circlet
- Completed Emblem
When a GA began her Forward Steps, a counselor could order a Forward Steps link bracelet with Queenly Quest charm. When a Junior GA completed the step of Maiden, she would add the octagon shaped charm. When she passed the requirements for Lady-in-Waiting she added the white star charm. Completion of the Princess requirements added a GA star. When she became a Queen, the girl then added a complete emblem to the bracelet.
A Queen-in-Service added a crown charm. When the requirements for Queen-with-a-Scepter work was complete, a girl could order a gold scepter, the Queen-with-a-Scepter pin, and a charm that was a replica of the pin. After the state WMU office approved a girl's work for Queen Regent, she received her cape and cape charm. A Queen Regent-in-Service received a globe charm.
In churches, associations, and at state camps and house parties, girls received their awards for Forward Steps work in Coronations or Presentation Services. In these services, the girls shared with the audience the many things they had learned and done while going through the program. A Coronation was held for anyone to receive recognition for Queen or above; otherwise, a Presentation Service was held to award those who completed work for Maiden through Princess.