Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC) has yet to leave the building, but the Baptist State Convention‘s (BSCNC) executive committee has already voted to establish a task force to explore the development of a new women’s ministry.
Executive director Milton Hollifield has said more than once that, if WMU-NC leaves the building, there would be a need for some sort of women’s ministry to replace it.
Executive committee member Lisa Horton, whose husband David is a former BSCNC president, made the motion at the Dec. 11 meeting, calling for something broader than what she described as WMU-NC’s primary focus on missions education and fund-raising. It should be modeled on the N.C. Baptist Men organization, she said, “‘active, vibrant, well rounded, very broad,’ and more hands on,” according to Norman Jameson’s report on the Biblical Recorder website.
It’s no surprise that the BSCNC is pursuing other options for women’s ministry, because the administration has consistently indicated little interest in partnering with a WMU-NC that is not located within the Baptist Building and the BSCNC organizational structure.
It should be noted, however, that WMU-NC’s work has been vibrant and varied all along, and is not limited to missions education and fund-raising for missions, as valuable as those functions are. WMU-NC folks actively promote the doing of missions in a variety of ways. Christian Women’s Job Corps, for example, has helped many struggling women in very difficult situations to get back on their feet with job training, discipleship, and mentoring provided through WMU-NC. A similar program for men (also coordinated by WMU-NC) is growing.
For many years, WMU-NC has been actively involved in prison ministries. Women across the state have sent in contributions for the “red box” Christmas program that provides a little something special for incarcerated women at Christmas. The women who contribute to, assemble, and deliver the boxes — along with those who receive them — all testify to the blessing received through the project. WMU also reaches out to the children of women who are in prison.
There is more, but that’s enough to point out that the ideas of discipleship and pro-active ministries for women is nothing new for WMU.