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(BWA) Edna Lee de Gutiérrez from Mexico, president of the Baptist World Alliance Women’s Department (BWAWD) from 1985-1990 and vice president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) from 1990-1995, died on Sunday, October 5.

“The BWA is greatly indebted to many gifted women around the world whose leadership among us has been a source of great inspiration,” said Neville Callam, BWA General Secretary. “Edna Lee de Gutiérrez falls in this tradition. May her passing be but her transition into eternal bliss.”

Gutiérrez was involved in Baptist work in Latin America throughout her life. She served as president of the Mexican Baptist Youth Union, president of the Nicaraguan Baptist Convention, and president of the Baptist Women’s Union of Latin America.

She was active in ministry in the local church. Her husband, Rolando Gutiérrez, a Nicaraguan, was pastor of churches in Managua, Nicaragua, and Mexico City, Mexico. Upon returning to her native country of Mexico after 10 years in Nicaragua, the couple wanted to begin a ministry for youth and found a small church of 30 members to sponsor the ministry. Horeb Baptist Church (HBC) in Mexico City grew into a strong church with many educational programs.

“Edna was an outstanding leader,” said Patsy Davis, Director of the BWAWD. “She will be remembered for her great accomplishments during her five years as president of the BWA Women’s Department, as well as her passion, self-sacrifice, and example.”

Soon after Gutiérrez’s election as president of the BWAWD in 1985, an earthquake caused severe damage in Mexico City. She and the women of HBC used the church as a rescue center, feeding a hot meal to 6,000 people a day for three months, and caring for 45 families living in tents.

During her term of office as BWAWD president, Gutiérrez represented the BWA as an official delegate to the World Congress of “Women toward 2000 without Nuclear Weapons for Peace, Equality and Development” held in Moscow.

Gutiérrez was a skilled preacher. She had the opportunity to speak at assemblies and church services in several countries as president of the BWA Women’s Department, and as part of her other leadership roles. After her husband’s death in March 1997, she served as pastor of HBC until December 1998.

In addition to her service as president of the BWAWD and as vice president of the BWA, Gutiérrez was a member of the BWA General Council, the Executive Committee and the Church Leadership Commission. She was also a part of the Congress Program Committee that planned the 1995 Baptist World Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Gutiérrez is survived by three children. Her memorial service and burial took place on October 6 in Mexico City.

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