THE LIBRARY OF THE
AT CHAPEL HILL
THE COLLECTION OF
JOHN SPRUNT HILL
CLASS OF 1889
UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL
FOR USE ONLY IN
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION
And Greater Works
The Woman's Missionary Union of the
Raleigh Baptist Association
And Greater Works
The Woman's Missionary Union of the
Raleigh Baptist Association
Agnes B. Yost
This book is a gift from
DR. and MRS. LEWIS JAMES GASKIN
honoring the memory of their aunt,
REBECCA GASKIN ESTRIDGE
She was a minister's wife, educator, world traveler,
and dedicated to Woman's Missionary Union
in South Carolina.
Copyright, 1986 Raleigh Baptist Association. Raleigh. NC
Because of her talent for literary composition, her striving for
perfection, and her complete devotion to any assigned task, the writer of
the History of Woman's Missionary Union for the Raleigh Baptist
Association was chosen. These qualities are enhanced by her honorable
Southern Baptist heritage.
Mrs. Yost, nee Agnes Elizabeth Best, was born in Warsaw, North
Carolina, the daughter of Claude Burbank Best and Annie Carroll Best.
She became a member of the Warsaw Baptist Church.
She received the B.A. degree with majors in music and English from
Atlantic Christian College and taught at Charles L. Coon High School in
Wilson. Later she received the MA. degree in English from the University
of Houston and taught and served as an English Coordinator in Houston.
Dr. William J. Yost, Professor Emeritus of the University of
Houston, and Mrs. Yost were members of South Main Baptist Church.
They wrote To God Alone Be Glory, A History of South Main Baptist
In retirement "back home," they are members of the Hayes Barton
Baptist Church in Raleigh.
Mrs. Yost's relatives include, among the ten known Carroll Baptist
clergymen, her great, great uncles Dr. Benajah Harvey Carroll, founder
of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dr. James Milton
Carroll; and Dr. Charles Chauncey Carroll and the Reverend Luther
And Greater Works is a treasure for each reader and one that may
be passed on to others who will see the next hundred years unfold.
Helen M. Cashwell
Woman's Missionary Union Director
Raleigh Baptist Association
They Deserve Our Remembering: A Dedication
The Reverend C. T. Bailey, the editor, wrote in the July 22, 1885
issue of the Biblical Recorder of the need for North Carolina Baptist
They lived and they were useful; this we know and naught
They did their work, and then they passed away, an
This little book, it is hoped, will serve as a remembrance of all those
women, named and unnamed, who did what they could to help their
church in Wake County and its environs fullfill its mission of making the
truth of God known to the whole world.
This little book, also, it is hoped, will serve to remind its readers of the
power of the smallest deed, the shortest prayer, the least gift — all
expressed in Christian love and for the purpose which Mrs. Sallie Bailey
Jones called "stimulating the entire church in its missionary thought and
To these, this book is dedicated.
The writer of this history is much aware that old records can not give
the full story. Much of great interest — old and new — is not known or
Concerning the societies, a number of organizations referred to in the
early part of this history were not of the Raleigh Association, these from
the Central Association merging with the Raleigh Association in 1944.
Distinction was not always thought necessary. Both groups of churches
became the one history. Also, what may seem to be a discrepancy in the
dates when societies are organized is due to there being in a number of
churches a first organization followed by a reorganization and even
another time of reorganization. The "best" dates available are the ones
used in this history.
The writer expresses appreciation to all who helped in the preparation
of this history — to the staff of the Biblical Recorder, the Raleigh
Association, and the library of Southeastern Baptist Theological Sem-
inary. Special thanks are due those Woman's Missionary Unions of the
Raleigh Association who cooperated in supplying information about their
history and, in many cases, their church history. Gratitude is expressed
to a number of individuals who gave behind-the-scenes support to this
effort: Mrs. David Langford (Nancy) , calligraphy; Mrs. Joseph M. Branch
(Frances), preliminary typing; Mrs John W. Sherman (Freeda), final
typing; and Bill Boatwright, printing process, all of Raleigh.
Dr. T. L. Cashwell helped with pictures and design, and Dr. William J.
Yost assisted in every step of the preparation of the manuscript.
The gracious assistance of members of the Heck family — Mr. and Mrs.
Charles W. Heck and Fannie H. Gochnauer — in providing treasured
family photographs is deeply appreciated.
Mrs. T. L. Cashwell, Jr. (Helen) — Woman's Missionary Union Director
Mrs. Louis Christian (Hope) — Centennial Chairman
Mrs. W. D. Love (Linda) — Liason
Mrs. L. R. Woodall (Shirley) — Woman's Missionary Union Secretary
Mrs. William J. Yost (Agnes) — Writer of history
In God's Time
And Greater Works 15
The Past as Prologue 15
The Time 1886-1900 All Things New
Raleigh, the Starting Place 19
Small as a Mustard Seed 24
Some of the Earliest Societies 25
The Time 1901-1920 The Spirit of Progress
Among the New Societies 38
They Made Themselves Stronger 41
They Gave — To God and To Man 45
They Looked Beyond Themselves 48
The Time 1921-1944 Strength Added to Strength
A Time to Reflect on the Past 53
The Superintendents 54
Missions Emphasis and New Societies 55
Youth Organizations 59
Small Gifts and Large Gifts 61
The Standard of Excellence 64
The Merging of Central and Raleigh Associations 64
The Time 1945-1986 Changing Patterns for Changing Times
The Leaders 71
Adapting to Size 73
Among the Newer Societies 75
Changing Community Missions 78
Missions, The Unchanging Goal 80
The One Hundredth Anniversary 85
A History, In God's Time 89
In Good's Time
IN GOD'S TIME/15
To His disciples gathered about Him, Jesus said, Verily,
verily I say unto you, hethatbelievethonme, the works that
I do shall he also; and greater works than these shall he do,
because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)
And Greater Works
The history of the Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) of the Raleigh
Association takes place in God's Time, and the organization is one of the
fulfillments of an assurance which is of the past, of the present, and of the
future. The significant meeting on January 8, 1886, is continuum, and the
last recorded WMU accomplishment, in 1986, one hundred years later, is
continuum; for this is a story of greater works.
In essence, this history is a segment of time, a record of what can
happen when women — spiritually mature, reliant on prayer, dedicated,
humble, tireless in service, encouraged by pastors — come together to do
The Past as Prologue
Many events, many prayers, many written expressions point toward
Raleigh as the starting place. Mr. Luther Rice, as early as 1818, made such
In Raleigh it is possible a similar little Ladies' Cent or Mite
Society may ere this have been instituted. 1
And to the second session of the Baptist State Convention of North
Carolina in 1831, the Female Benevolent Society of Raleigh sent at least
one delegate, Patrick W. Dowd, pastor of First Baptist Church, Raleigh,
who was the president of the convention. 2
Groups waited. Individuals waited.
A half century later in a plea for Women's Missions, Mrs. C. E. Kerr
probably expresses the attitude of other women. In the Biblical Recorder
of January 6, 1886, are her words:
I am glad to see that Dr. J. H. Pritchard is... in sympathy with
woman's work, and hope he will not in the future keep silent
in the interest of peace where there is no peace. If the anxious
desire to be up and doing that burns in so many willing hearts
of Christian women, was fanned into words and sounded so
16/AND GREATER WORKS
loud that earth might hear — for heaven has already heard...
Above all, let us begin right and have no oppositon.
The development most directly related to the beginning of the WMU
of the Raleigh Association was that the Foreign Mission Board in April
1877 appointed a Central Committee of Missions of North Carolina and
selected Mrs. J. M. Heck of Raleigh as president. This committee
reported to the state convention seventeen societies and collections
amounting to $342. 16. 3
The Convention applauded this enterprise, but approval failed to
come because there was dissention among the brethren — between those
who favored encouraging women and those who did not.
The Time was not right. Committee success was to come not for
mother but for daughter, who was to become head of the State Central
Committee in Raleigh ten years later!
Prayer was the greatest prologue. The young daughter, Miss Fannie
Exile Scudder Heck, then in her teens, already knew the power of prayer,
and she spoke of the swelling hope of the time:
Hidden away from sight are praying hearts.
Some have been praying for years. 4
A part of the prologue herself, she recognized this creative fire for
missions at work.
Mrs. J. M. Heck
Fannie E. S. Heck, at age 12
*trr Things 7W
ALL THINGS NEW/19
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are
passed away; behold all things are new. (II Cor. 2:15)
Raleigh, the Starting Place
The time had come for Baptist women to organize for united work
Dr. Theodore Whitfield, pastor of the First Church of New Bern and
vice-president of the Foreign Mission Board, came to Raleigh on January
5, 1886, to confer about this matter with the officers of the State Board of
Missions. He must have their approval to name a Central Committee.
After discussion late into the night, Dr. Whitfield and Dr. C. T.
Bailey, editor of the Biblical Recorder, the next morning went to the
home of Col. and Mrs. J. M. Heck to ask Miss Fannie, their twenty-four
year old daughter, to become the president of a Woman's Central
Committee. She consented, knowing full well the kind of responsibility
that her mother, before her, had assumed. Her only request was that Dr.
Bailey's daughter, Sallie, be asked to serve with her, as corresponding
secretary. Sally, only eighteen, had worked with Fannie Heck in a little
mission church known as John Pullen's Church, "down by the tracks" in
Raleigh. Now, both of these young, dedicated workers were assuming a
new responsibility — a mission together which was to continue through-
out Miss Heck's life.
All proceeded as Dr. Whitfield had hoped. Dr. Bailey vacated his
office! And the Woman's Central Committee for State, Home, and
Foreign Missions met first on January 8, 1886!
Serving with Miss Fannie E. S. Heck were these ladies, from First
Church, Raleigh and Tabernacle Church, Raleigh whom the board had
Miss Sallie Bailey, corresponding secretary and treasurer
Miss Lida McDaniel, recording secretary
Mrs. T. E. Skinner, wife of the pastor of First Church, Raleigh
Mrs. W. A. Nelson, wife of the pastor of the Tabernacle
Mrs. John E. Ray
Mrs. T. H. Briggs
Mrs. W. B. Broughton
Mrs. R. G. Lewis
Mrs. J. W. Swenson
Mrs. W. H. Pace, sister of Miss Heck
20/ AND GREATER WORKS
Fannie E. S. Heck, at age 20
ALL THINGS NEW/21
The West Parlor and Dining Room of the Heck Home, where Miss Heck
talked with the children of the mission and had conferences with her
tt sll~__. — /f •■
....... // I
- 8H8 bS
The Music Room of the Heck Home
22/ AND GREATER WORKS
Dr. C. T. Bailey
Col. J. M. Heck, father of Fannie
The Heck Home, 309 Blount Street in Raleigh
ALL THINGS NEW/23
Mrs. J. M. Barbee
Miss Maggie Perry
Mrs. M. T. Morris
Mrs. T. D. Ray 1
Raleigh can claim this special group of women headed by Miss Heck,
who devoted her life to missions. In self-forgetful labor — speaking,
organizing, traveling, writing to the societies by means of the Biblical
Recorder and other periodicals, composing letters of encouragement up
to the very last — she rendered notable service. Years in the future, a
number of societies yet to be organized would read her tracts at their first
One can only wonder whether Miss Heck had in mind Jesus' assurance
of "greater works" when, in her last letter from the Hygeia Hospital in
Richmond, Virginia, dated March 15, 1915, she said,
Changes will come: new faces take the place of old; new and
broader plans succeed those of today; but our beloved Union
is safe in our Master's hands. 2
Such is the fibre of that initial group here in Raleigh whose influence
brought results in their own churches and extended to the state level and
A dream of high calling was beginning to unfold. To Miss Fannie E. S.
Heck it was the stream that flowed by the city a thousand years before
anyone knew it could be the light-maker for all the dark places. We in our
Christian lives are ever discovering new possibilities, making the
impossible possible from the same life-giving stream of God's grace.
Admonitions from Miss Heck, written at the Hygeia Hospital in Richmond
(from Fannie E. S. Heck, by Mrs. W. C. James)
24/AND GREATER WORKS
^Hl^^^r^^^^Mr* 5 ' ^^^K
rail ** fm
^r^ ' gMk JH I
f » 3r
Fannie £. S. Heck, holding her niece and namesake, Fannie Scudder Heck.
Little Fannies twin is Clara Tuttle Heck, held by Clara Tuttle Probasco.
Small As A Mustard Seed
The leadership of the Woman's Central Committee was all that was
needed to multiply the societies of the Central and Raleigh Associations
that were already in existence.
Miss Heck was eager to give encouragement and information that
would help the new societies. One of the first projects of the committee
was the publication of a little single-folder paper, which the new president
named Missionary Talk. Thousands of copies were issued until the
paper was discontinued in 1895, when the North Carolina Union began
editing a column in the Biblical Recorder.
Progress was sure. There would be few, if any, failures. In an almost
miraculous way, their purpose and plan had been clear from the
beginning. A letter in the Biblical Recorder as early as January 27, 1886,
defines so well women's work for missions:
My understanding of the plan is this: the sisters of a church
under its control, organize themselves into a society for the
purpose of concentrated effort in promoting mission work in
ALL THINGS NEW/25
its various branches, in that they have officers elected from
among themselves, and devise their own ways and means of
raising funds for the said purpose.
Nevertheless, the societies had to work to establish their own place,
struggling for acceptance in their own church and association. At first,
some of the "societies" were more a committee than an organization. The
history of women's work at Mt. Vernon Church records that "this church
showed by their practice that women are worthy to act with men in
church work," a committee of women having been appointed back in
August 1856 to solicit funds for foreign missions. "This association of
women with men on committees was oft repeated." Also highly
representative is the Sisters of the Female Society, mentioned in the
minutes of the First Church of Cary, as early as 1885. There, the ladies
took an active part in the business of operating the church, serving on
collecting committees, obituary committees, baking committees. How-
ever, "they apparently did not say much during conferences and usually
when a report was made on their work, one of the brethren would make
Yes, at the churches, some trembled at the thought that women
might be led to preaching through the influence of the organization. 3
While some feared, others stood aside to see the matter work itself out.
It was a fragile progress during these first fourteen years, 1886 to
1900, when "all things are new." It was also a progress of undaunted
Some of the Earliest Societies
The Tabernacle Society was organized in 1881, five years before the
State Central Committee was appointed with Miss Heck as president.
There was a membership of 10 that first year. From the Tabernacle WMU
would come the Treasurer of the Union, Mrs. W. I. Powell. Also
organized in the early 1880's was the Holly Springs Society.
The first society, of the First Church, Raleigh, was called the
Women's Working Society. It was organized in 1886, with dues of ten
cents a month. A short time later, the women's groups of the church were
consolidated into the Women's Missionary Society, with Mrs. J. M. Heck
as the president. 4 Years later, two missionaries would emerge from this
beginning: Mrs. Foy Johnson Farmer, Missionary to Japan, and Marie
Hiott, missonary journeyman in Belgium. A state WMU president, Mrs.
Gordon Maddrey, belonged, for a while, to this society.
Also in 1886, the Woman's Missionary Society of Wake Forest
Church organized. A unique dimension of this early group was their
26/ AND GREATER WORKS
electing deaconesses, who were referred to in the early twenties as
Women's Helpers. From the WMU of this strategically located church
have come many men and women, who are among the "more than 100
missionaries of the WFBC family now serving in the U.S. and in more
than 35 foreign countries."
The Hepzibah Society was probably organized in 1886, the organiza-
tion being very active by 1903. In its on-going dedication to missions, Mrs.
J. C. Winston served as president in 1916. Likewise, New Hope Church's
mission commitment was clear, expressing itself back in 1847 in a "first
At Woodland Church, "Mrs. Vergellia Pernell was elected the first
president of the newly organized Ladies' Mission Society the Saturday
before the third Lord's Day of September 1886." (Many times the church
services were held on Saturday.) From Woodland's missions organiza-
tion, Mrs. Euno Mangum Hester and Mr. Hester emerged to serve as
home missionaries in Colorado.
At about the same time, Creedmore Road Church and Forestville
Church, among others, had "missions committees," both of which were
active. From the strength of Creedmore Road Church's "committee,"
came Peggy Smith, missionary to Brazil; and from Forestville Church
emerged Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Chappel, missionaries to China, and Mr.
and Mrs. O. G. Tillman, serving in Burma, India.
Seven societies from the Raleigh Association and nine societies from
the Central Association were listed in the first financial report that the
Central Association made to the Woman's Central Committee of
Missions, December 31, 1886. These two associations were to merge
much later — in 1944.
From Central Association were:
First Church, Raleigh
Third Church, Raleigh
Wake X Roads
the Raleigh Association were:
Second Church, Raleigh
ALL THINGS NEW/27
Prior to this first annual report, Miss Heck, in a "Report of Central
Committee of Woman's Missionary Societies" for the quarter ending
March 31, 1886, had included three churches of the Raleigh Association:
Second Church, Raleigh $16.97
Shady Grove 4.00
She concluded, "We have reason to be encouraged but encouragement
means but reason to press on."
Not only were the societies increasing, but they were being
recognized. The minutes of the Eighty-third Session of the Raleigh
Association 1888 in its Report on the "Development of the Churches"
Holly Springs recommends that Ladies' Mission Societies be
organized in all the churches!
And there was mention of the inclusion of men. Tabernacle Church in
Raleigh had a very active and helpful organization known as Young Men's
Missionary Union. And the Cary Woman's Missionary Society often had
programs that were presented by their pastor.
In the "Report on Church Development" that N. B. Broughton,
Moderator, made the next year, he singled out the societies, thus:
Cary has an active Ladies' Missionary Society. Green
Level. . .a flourishing Ladies' Misssionary Society. The Ladies'
Ladies Missionary Society of Inwood Church is one of its
most efficient forces. The Tabernacle Church in Raleigh
reports very thorough organization and active work. Apex
has an excellent Ladies' Society.
Perhaps there were other societies, for Mr. Broughton went on to chide
Again we call attention to the careless way in which many of
the churches prepare their letters to the Association... It is
impossible for us to give you proper statistics with such
imperfect letters. 6
The tone of Mr. Broughton's report bore fruit, for the minutes of the
Eighty-fifth Session, 1890, speak approvingly of good results:
Again we see progress in many of our churches in organizing
Ladies' Mission Societies.
28/ AND GREATER WORKS
Mr. N. B. Broughton,
moderator of the
Two developments occurred in 1891 which strengthened the local
societies. The Biblical Recorder of March 18, 1891, gives an account of
the meeting in which the societies decided an annual meeting was
necessary. Early in March a call was issued to all members of Woman's
Missionary Societies (WMS) "who may be in attendance at the Baptist
State Convention and members of Raleigh Societies to meet on March 5
and 6 in the Tabernacle Church in Raleigh." The meeting was largely
attended, two days stretching into three." 7 The constitution adopted
read in part:
The name of this body shall be The Annual meeting of
W.M.S. of the Baptist churches of North Carolina. The
meeting shall be held in the same city and at the same time as
the Baptist State Convention. 8
It was noted at that meeting, that "pastors are taking more interest in
women's work." 9
The second development was that the Societies of North Carolina
were to become a part of the Woman's Missionary Union, Auxiliary to the
Southern Baptist Convention. Of this change Miss Heck spoke enthusias-
There is pushing through many of our socities an increased
fervor and a more earnest desire to be used of the master in
His work of Missions. 10
ALL THINGS NEW/29
This "increased fervor" was reflected, in part, by more systematic
reporting of women's mission work. For the first time, a section entitled
"Woman's Mission Society" appeared in the Minutes of the Raleigh
Baptist Association, November 1896. The section reads:
Apex — Mrs. Cynthia Cline, President
Clayton — Mrs. Home, President
Garner — Mrs. Florence Pool, President
Holly Springs — Mrs. Bettie Halleman, President
Mt. Moriah — Mrs. Ruth Wingate, President
Raleigh Baptist — Mrs. Mamie E. Birdsong, President
Tabernacle — Mrs. J. C. Ellington, Secretary,
represented the society.
Cary and Wakefield were reported as having societies, but
there was no representative present.
The following year, 1897, in the Report of the Association, the first
listing of Societies along with their gifts to specific causes appeared.
— Sunbeam Society contributed $30.50 for
the Baptist Orphanage.
— Woman's Missionary Society contributed
$2.64 to Foreign Missions.
— Woman's Missionary Society contributed
$18.03 and Sunbeams $6.42 to the
objects of the convention.
— Woman's Missionary Society and the
Sunday School contributed liberally to
the various objects of the convention.
— Woman's Missionary Society contributed
$15.00 to the various objects of the
— Woman's Missionary Society contributed
$6.74 to State Missions.
Holly Springs — Woman's Missionary Society contributed
to the following objects: State Missions
$9.00, Home Missions $16.00, Foreign
Inwood — The church sent $5.00 to the Orphanage
as a Thanksgiving offering.
Morrisville — Woman's Missionary Society contributed
$20.00 to missions.
Mt. Moriah — The church sent a box, valued at $7.00,
to the orphanage.
30/AND GREATER WORKS
Tabernacle — Woman's Missionary Society, Sunbeams,
Personal Workers, and King's Daughters
contributed to the following objects:
State Missions $10.00; Home Missions
$15.00; Foreign Missions $118.25; Sick
and Needed Fund $15.05.
Salem — Woman's Missionary Society raised $5.00
for State Missions.
Swift Creek — Woman's Missionary Society raised the
following amount for objects named:
Foreign Missions $1.10; Home Missions
$1.15; State Missions 90 cents;
Wakefield — Woman's Missionary Society raised
$41.33 for the various objects of the
Improved accounting procedures were in order. But the gifts were
no less precious. No doubt, it was this need that prompted the committee
of the Ninety-second Annual Session on the "Development of the Work"
That the churches divide the year among our denominational
work as follows:
November and December to State Missions
January and February to Foreign Missions
March and April to Home Missions
A number of the societies observed, also, a Week of Self Denial.
Among these was the Cary Society. Encouraged by letters received
regularly from Miss Heck, the members fasted during this special week.
From such strength would come, years later, Mrs. Cora Gates, Board of
Directors of the Home Mission Board; Deen and Sonny Sweatman,
foreign missionaries; and Terrie Atkins, missionary journeyman.
As Miss Heck noted the progress, she wrote to the churches of the
In the opening year we would most earnestly ask the
cooperation of every pastor in this work, believing that each
will find an active Woman's Missionary Society in his church
a source of strength to him and the work at home as well as to
missions in every land. 11 .
The theme of giving threads the Woman's Missionary Union from
the beginning. Its early motivation was giving, and the societies were
often called Ladies' Cent or Mite Societies. History records that at that
Sunday 3 P.M. meeting in 1890, the members of the Youngsu»7/e Church,
including men, came together to organize a Missionary Society. The two
ALL THINGS NEW/31
dozen mite boxes had failed to come! They organized anyway, under the
leadership of Dr. W. R. Cullom, Dean at Wake Forest College for many
years and pastor of the church from 1896 to 1899. Mrs. Susan H. Winston
was elected president; there were twenty members, according to a WMS
roll used betwen 1890 and 1896. It was the same motivation thirteen years
later, at a time of rebuilding, that said each member must pay a fee of not
less than ten cents per month "to raise funds for the church in
Youngsville as well as for missions." Such strength was to produce Mrs.
Nannie Spivey Clark — a teacher and home missionary — who worked with
her husband in the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky,
and Georgia. And Dr. and Mrs. Charles Tabor, members of the church in
the 1950's, became foreign missionaries to Korea.
History records, as well, that the Society of the First Church of
Garner, which organized in 1896 with Mrs. Florence Pool as president,
had offerings for missions as early as 1887, the year the church was
organized! Mrs. Wayne (Peggy) Dunn, now a missionary with Mr. Dunn
to St. Vincent Island, was an active member of this organization. "I had
wanted to learn everything I could about missions," she said — a need that
The Zebulon Missionary Society is a continuation of the theme of
giving. Minutes record that "our church has been very active in WMU as
far back as 1896 when there was a Wakefield WMU Society, Wakefield
now being the Zebulon Baptist Church ." Though records do not tell the
names, their dedication speaks in a louder voice: "they raised $35.61 in
November of that year (1896) for missions." By 1907 the twenty-five
members raised $60.15 for missions, led by Mrs. John A. Kemp, the
At the very first meeting, the six ladies who organized, in 1898, The
Ephesus Society, contributed $2. 15 to missions. Mrs. Cynthia Hurst and
Mrs. R. C. Clifton were "the first officers."
Even though the reported gifts by the Societies may seem small,
there were many other gifts that were not reported. They gave to some of
the churches that were struggling against odds not at first apparent. The
minutes of the Eighty-seventh Annual Session, 1892, speak of "several
churches embarrassed by indebtedness pressing upon them in building
their houses of worship." Then follows the societies' characteristic
response to need, "We must aid these churches!" Many of the societies
also helped in the support of "our aged ministerial brethren, who have
borne the burden and heat of the day." 12 Sometimes the gifts to Foreign
Missions went directly to the field, a situation generally recognized and
specifically referred to in the Minutes of the Eighty-ninth Annual Session,
Some money has been sent to the gospel mission in China,
which accounts in part for the smaller amount for Foreign
32/ AND GREATER WORKS
The societies' role of giving was strongly approved. Mr. N. B.
Broughton, at the Annual Session of 1891, said:
The ladies of our churches take this work in hand and raise
each year the amount sent up. As the women of heathendom
are the greatest sufferers, our women should be glad to have
this work assigned them. As each missionary goes from us,
the work draws nearer to us.
First Annual Meeting 1898
The Ninety-third Annual Session of the Raleigh Association, held with
the Johnson-Antioch Church in Johnson County, November 3-6, 1898,
was a landmark, for this was the societies' first annual meeting. Mrs. B.
Lacy Hoge, acting president, spoke on the subject of greater works: "The
Unfinished Work of Christ and the Mission of the Church." After the talk,
Mrs. J. M. Beaty offered a resolution asking,
that the woman's missionary societies be recognized by the
Association as a permanent body, to meet annually in
connection with the Association and that the minutes of the
Woman's Missionary Societies be printed in with the minutes
of the Association.
The resolution was adopted.
And so the struggle for acceptance was won, and in newness "the
least of all seeds became the greatest among herbs."
The. "jcars l*jOl. ~1<J20
The Spirit of Tr oar ass
THE SPIRIT OF PROGRESS/37
Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit,
saith the Lord of Hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)
During the first twenty years of the Twentieth Century, the spirit of
the Woman's Missionary Union of the Raleigh Association made certain
its growth. It was a spirit that builds on what has been done, that holds
fast to original purposes.
Above all, it was a spirit that was undergirded with prayer. One of the
strong points of the young societies was their ability to pray. The history
of the Cary Society is representative of the others. Their history records
that in August 1904, there were "not many present, and the meeting
turned into a kind of prayer meeting. A member led the society in prayer
and prayed as if it came from the heart and made each of us feel the
presence of the Lord was with us." They prayed for more love in their
hearts and that this love would extend into the world. The associational
leaders, as well, worked in an attitude of prayer. When Mrs. L. E. M.
Freeman discussed the work of 1910, she said,
As we remember the work of the past year, we realize that it
has been accomplished by prayer, no plan nor plans being
adopted in our societies without being preceded by much
At the beginning of the century, the societies were enthusiastic, their
determination paralleling the optimism on the state level. The New
Century Movement was saying to them "to double the number of
societies by each one now organized, organizing another within a radius
of fifteen miles." 1 Letters to the Biblical Recorder said:
The pastors of churches, where there are Woman's Mission-
ary Societies, have recognized in them their strongest ally. In
many churches, they have awakened a missionary spirit, and
never fail to develop it. ..That God has blessed our efforts
there is not the slightest reason to doubt. We look hopefully
forward to the time when our long cherished desire shall be
realized — a Woman's Missionary Society in every church
and every woman a member of it. 2
For the second time Raleigh occupied a strategic place. The
Woman's Annual Meeting, 1900, was held in the main auditorium of the
First Church, Raleigh. It was the largest gathering of Baptist women ever
seen to that date! And each meeting the next four years was larger than
the preceding, the one in 1905 being "greater in number, greater in
insight, greater in contribution, greater in significance than the rest."
38/ AND GREATER WORKS
The church was nearly filled at each of the weekday sessions,
the ladies crowding to the front, filling the aisles with chairs
on Sunday afternoon, overflowing in the galleries.
Miss Heck, who spoke at the meeting, predicted, "the first ten years
of the Twentieth Century will be the most significant decade in the history
of God's kingdom since the death of the apostles." 3
Among the New Societies
Missionary societies were organized, one after the other. Each was
an inspiring beginning.
Olive Chapel, Swift Creek, and Oak Grove, 1903
The Woman's Missionary Union at Olive Chapel Church was a
culmination of a mite box plan that began about 1875. There were
three boxes, one each for foreign missions, state missions, and
education. The members were urged to put one cent in each box.
According to their history, "Of course missions did not get rich from
these mite boxes, but we will admit they were a step in the right
direction. " The ten members named Mrs. Sallie Barber as president,
with help from Mrs. Annie Olive and Mrs. Katy B. Lawrence. From
this Olive Chapel WMU comes a state Young Woman's Auxiliary
(YWA) Leader, Mrs. Alva Lawrence, and a missionary to China,
Rev. Bun Olive.
Swift Creek Church's history of mission work, with a very active
missionary society, goes back at least to 1903.
The Ook Grove Church WMU organized "with 12 members and a
Sunbeam Band, having all together 40 members." Under the
leadership of the first president, Miss Nora Williams, the society
contributed that first year $1.95 to missions. Five years later, in 1908,
the Woman's Missionary Society organized again, with Mrs. J. C.
Satterwhite as president.
Mount Moriah, 1905
"The women of the church were very active in the work of the Lord."
Sixteen, who met at the church on February 17, 1905, to organize
the Missionary Society, opened the meeting with a hymn "Stand Up
For Jesus." They elected Mrs. Katie Gower their first president.
Mrs. Vic Poole and Mrs. Addie Ferrell were among the early leaders,
Mrs. Poole replacing Mrs. Gower as president, who passed away a
little over a year after the WMS began. At their meetings, letters
from Miss Fannie Heck concerning mission work were often read.
Although the society disbanded in 1918 because of the flu epidemic,
THE SPIRIT OF PROGRESS/39
it began again March 7, 1923, at the home of Mrs. Holland Smith, and
elected Mrs. J. C. Barrington, president.
The Millbrook Church WMU started in 1905 or 1906, with Mrs.
Charles Beddingfield the first president.
Good Hope (M), 1907
History records that as early as 1907 "the women at Good Hope
Church became burdened with a desire to send missionaries not
only at home but overseas to the millions who had never heard the
gospel." So they organized the Women's Service Society, named a
decade or so later the Woman's Missionary Society. Miss Lillie
Herndon, the first president, was one of twenty-six members that
Fuquay-Varina and Wendell, 1908
Fuquay-Varina Church organized a Woman's Missionary Society in
1908 "through prayer, study, and hard work." This was a year before
the town was chartered. The first president, Mrs. Lillian Yates
Ballentine, served a total of twenty-five years! Mrs. T. B. Lawrence
served in 1918, and Mrs. W. P. Howard, Sr. and Mrs. Anna Harrison,
At the Wendell Church, Mrs. Mary Lacy Nowell formed the WMS in
1908. The daughter of a missionary, she had come to Wendell in 1908
as principal of the local school. From this society would come one
who served as a missionary to Nigeria from 1939 to 1960 — Miss
Pilot, Reedy Creek, and Sorrell's Grove, 1909
The Pilot Church WMS goes back as early as 1909, although the
exact year of its organization is not known. Reedy Creek Church
and Sorrell's Grove Church also had active societies at least as early
Collins Grove, Green Level, and Piney Grove, 1910
Dedicated women were always ready to serve. At Collins Grove
Church, Miss Emma Welsh from the Holly Springs Church became
the first president, when she and Mrs. Estelle D. Womble, Mrs. Mary
H. Halleman, and several others met to organize the WMS in 1910.
A WMS was started at Green Level Church in 1910, although there
was "a flourishing Ladies' Missionary Society" as early as 1889.
April 2, 1910, is probably the day that a WMS began at Piney Grove
Church, for on that day a group called the Woman's Missionary
Society "asked the church for a place in which they could meet."
Because they "found" that place years before, Miss Georgia Beasley
now serves as a missionary in Guam.
Wakefield Central, 1912
Wakefield Central Church had an active missionary society as early
40/AND GREATER WORKS
as 1896, and early records show that in 1908 Wakefield Central
designated approximately 10 percent of its total contributions to
missions. A WMS organized in 1912 with Mrs. W. C. Ferrell as
president and had seventy-five members the first year!
Bethlehem, Samaria, and Wake Union, 1913 and 1914
Among the societies formed during this time, was the Bethlehem
Society, which met first at the home of Mrs. D. B. Harrison, "who
lived 300 yards from the church." She became the first president.
Here was the strength that nurtured Mrs. Olga Hood, now serving
with Dr. Alton Hood, as a missionary to Thailand.
Eight members made up the first Woman's Missionary Society at the
Somaria Church. The society was organized in 1914, with Mrs. I. B.
Wall the first president. Their spirit of self-giving continues in the
example of Mrs. Mary Sue Pearce Williams, to whom the 1984 RBA
Annual is dedicated, whose contribution has been collecting
histories of the churches and encouraging their updating.
At the Wake Union Church, the WMU can be traced back to 1898,
but it ceased to exist and appeared on the records again in 1914.
Apex, Inwood, Knightdale, and Rolesville, 1915
The Apex Missionary Society met at the Apex Church and
organized in 1915, electing Mrs. A. V. Baucom as president. History
records that Apex had "an excellent Ladies' Society" as early as
1889 and that Mrs. Cynthia Cline was president in 1896. From a
society, active and strong for many years, would come Patricia
Robbins, who served as a missionary journeyman to Japan in the late
The Inwood Church WMS is representative of the many societies
that grew out of an active missions church, of which the minister, the
Rev. J. C. Owen, became in 1899 the church's first missionary to
China. The Woman's Missionary Society was organized in 1915,
with Mrs. H. P. Greene serving as its first president. Wayne and
Peggy Dunn, missionaries to St. Vincent Island, are members of
Mrs. R. A. Wilder was the first president of the WMS, organized in
1915, at the Knightdale Church. Also, in 1915, the Rolesville Church
WMS held its first meeting, in the church. From this society came a
state missionary, Frances Pearce Jones.
THE SPIRIT OF PROGRESS/41
They Made Themselves Stronger
The annual meetings were important. Because they served many
purposes and were well attended, they unified the work. The meetings
lasted two, three, or even four days, sometimes beginning at 5 o'clock in
the afternoon, sometimes at 8 or 8:30 in the evening. One can imagine
that the chores at home were finished by mid-morning to allow hours for
the buggy rides over the dirt country roads. Time need not be hurried.
The homes had been readied for their comfort, every detail attended.
Mrs. L. E. M. Freeman, in 1910, mentions "the delightful homes we have
Appreciation was expressed, some four years later, for the Brass-
field Hospitality Committee of the Brassfield Church, of which Mrs. J. W.
Whitfield was chairman:
They were vigilant, faithful, and unerring in their effort to
provide every comfort for the convenience of their guests.
Some of the Brassfield brethren met the delegates and
visitors in Franklinton with automobiles, and the spin of
several miles over those fine roads, outlined with prosperous
looking crops, was delightful. 4
The meetings were, for the most part, in Baptist churches, but
occasionally they were held in churches of other denominations. While
the One Hundred and Fourth Annual Session was underway at the
McCullars Church, October 1909, the women were enjoying their annual
meeting at the Presbyterian Church. As interesting, is the interdenomina-
tional participation the next year at the Apex Baptist Church, with the
women meeting in the Methodist Church.
Mrs. W. F. Utley welcomed the Union on behalf of the
members of the Methodist church. Mrs. Hughes, for the
Presbyterian. Mrs. R. J. Bowling, for the Baptists.
The sessions began with "Introductory Sermons," sometimes
referred to as "Devotional Exercises." A sermon also introduced the
afternoon session and that of the following morning. Men were usually
the speakers; but in 1903, Mrs. John L. Cook, of Fayetteville Street
Church, conducted the devotional exercises; and in 1910, Mrs. A. B.
Hunter, of Apex, had charge of the exercises in the mornings and Miss
Pattie Bunn, in the afternoon. Mrs. J. G. Kemp, of Zebulon, conducted
the exercises in 1915. Probably there were other women who opened the
The sessions seem to have been a real worship experience.
From the minutes of 1918:
42/ AND GREATER WORKS
The evening service was one of great interest and inspiration
on account of the strong and stirring sermon by Rev.
W. L. Griggs of Cary . Those who heard the sermon returned
to their homes with a new determination to do more for the
Master than before.
Even though it was not at all unusual to see men in the audience, the
societies continued to feel the need for more cooperation:
In reporting the work of the Raleigh Woman's Missionary
Union for the past year (1917), we would first of all express
our appreciation of the hearty and sympathetic cooperation
of many of pastors; and since our work is not primarily
woman's but God's, we ask for the future even greater
assistance than we have yet received.
Improvement in Organization
As the societies became stronger, their organization improved.
Beginning in 1903, the names of the presidents of the various Woman's
Missionary Societies were listed, a practice that continued for some time.
Apex — Mrs. C. V. Brooks
Cary — Mrs. E. D. Yates
Street — Miss Ella A. Ford
Garner — Mrs. V. H. Britt
Green Level — Mrs. G. W. Beavers
(M) — Miss Lillie Herndon
Hepzibah — Miss Jennie Hester
Holly Springs — Mrs. Annie Carter
McCullars — Mrs. F. G. Banks
Morrisville — Mrs. W. H. Edwards
Mt. Zion — Miss Elgenia Goodwin
Shady Grove — Mrs. E. Wilson
Swift Creek — Miss Mary Franklin
Tabernacle — Mrs. Maud Reid
Wakefield — Mrs. D. Caviness
These dedicated themselves to progress within their immediate societies
and to the association. So many of their decisions and plans were laid on
new ground, for there was little or no precedent to guide them.
Beginning in 1912, the names of women who led the woman's work
of the Association were listed in the annual reports.
1912 — Mrs. W. R. Beach
1914-15 — Mrs. E. E. Wilson
1916-17 — Mrs. Theodore B. Davis
1919-21 — Mrs. G. N. Cowan
THE SPIRIT OF PROGRESS/43
During those years, they were called superintendents, and their work was
extraordinary. Mrs. W. R. Beach persevered in coordinating the work of
all the societies, having served as a District Worker when the association
first organized into five districts. Mrs. E. E. Wilson led the 19 Woman's
Missionary Societies to see the need for gifts to support the work of the
association. She was a member of the Shady Grove Church Society.
Mrs. Theodore B. Davis of the Zebulon Baptist Society served the
Raleigh Association in many capacities. Her profound sense of priorities
led her to place the increasing observance of specific seasons of prayer
above even the formation of six new societies. The Raleigh Association
dedicated its 1952 Annual to her loving memory. Mrs. G. N. Cowan was
a member of the Apex Church Society. To her, "the great essential is
evangelism. Missions is not part of our Baptist work, it is all of it," she said.
A major step in organization occurred in 1909 when Mrs. Joseph H.
Weathers made a report ot the Raleigh Association that the churches
having missionary societies had been divided into five districts and that
workers had been appointed for each district who would assist the
vice-president in carrying out the work.
The District Workers were Mrs. Joe H. Weathers and Mrs. J. G.
Knight's Chapel Garner
The District Workers were Mrs. John Keys and Miss Patti Bunn.
Cary Reedy Creek
Apex Mount Olivet
Salem Mt. Zion
Swift Creek Leesville
The District Workers were Mrs. W. R. Beach and Miss Julia
Green Level Sorrell's Grove
Good Hope (M) Mt. Hermon
The District Workers were Mrs. G. M. Beavers, Miss Eula Hatcher,
Mrs. Addie Lassiter, and Mrs. W. H. Edwards.
Holly Springs McCullars
44/ AND GREATER WORKS
Cannon Grove Fuquay
Pleasant Grove Shady Grove
The District Workers were Mrs. Lillian Ballentine and Miss Emma
The division must have worked well, for the next year Mrs. Lillian
Ballentine reported favorably at the District Workers Conference, where
four of the five districts were represented.
As the societies worked to strengthen themselves, the leaders
stressed more and more the reading of "Denominational literature." At
the Annual Meeting, 1919, Miss Helen Whitley urged each one present
"to take and read our Denominational literature." The letter that Mrs. W.
F. Marshall, of Raleigh, wrote to the Biblical Recorder also indicates this
interest in mission education:
It is so important that each society member subscribe to one
or more of our mission journals. In clubs of ten or more, the
Foreign Mission Journal and the Home Field are sent for
twenty-five cents each. Our Mission Fields, indispensable for
leaders, is published quarterly and is twenty-five cents. The
Prayer Calendar, unusually attractive this year, bound in the
Union's colors, lavender and white, is fifteen cents. Then we
are not to forget the Recorder. 5
The Prayer Calendar at that time included the daily object of prayer, as
well as the daily memory verse and daily Bible reading. The Calendar for
a part of the week, January 18-22, 1914, directed their prayer in this way:
Sunday, January 18 — For the Education Work of Southern
Monday, January 19 — For the Sunbeams
Tuesday, January 20 — For the Young Woman's
Thursday, January 22 — For the Royal Ambassadors. 6
The Standard of Excellence
As the societies became stronger, they began to evaluate that
strength. Mrs. W. L. Griggs, speaking at the Annual Session of 1918,
addressed the subject of the Standard of Excellence, which the Union
had adopted in 1911,
Making it very plain to those present what it takes to reach
our Associational Standard of Excellence and Our Apportion-
ment, namely women and girls with their talents consecrated
THE SPIRIT OF PROGRESS/45
They Gave — To God and To Man
Giving continues to be the great theme.
Mount Moriah's history records that its WMS members were always
encouraged to give to missions, and their first yearly report, that was
recorded in 1905, shows the spirit of giving at the heart of the early
Foreign Missions $ 1.50
Home Missions 5.00
Central Committee 1.00
State Missions 2.70
Amount Sent Off $10.20
It was the spirit of giving to their church, as well, for the next year their
annual report included $7 "for a clock at Mount Moriah Church," a clock
still in use today!
The giving in Good Hope's Women's Service Society is as inspiring:
The women met once each month to discuss needs of
missionaries and to pray for work being done. Also to these
meetings they would bring their offerings, money earned by
selling eggs and butter — sometimes no more than ten cents.
Ana when times were bad, about 1909 to 1914, in order to obtain money,
members were appointed to "Beg" mission money, Sister Eve Byrd for
State Missions and Sister Grace Carpenter for Foreign Missions.
The frontier boxes were a favorite project in many of the societies,
who got the names of missionaries through correspondence with Mrs.
Heck. The Cary Society, among others, gave in this way:
On July 26, 1903, letter from frontier missionary was read
and we decided to commence work on quilts at once.
In addition to the quilts and other articles, clothing was sent,
and sometimes money for the missionary to buy himself a
suit of clothes. Frequently the value of the box would be in
the neighborhood of $50, which did not include freight.
The report of the Raleigh Association in 1908 also sheds consider-
able light on the kinds of gifts.
The Woman's Missionary Union shows marked progress,
the total value of boxes to frontier missionaries and furnish-
ings for mountain schools is $24,543.46, while the total
46/ AND GREATER WORKS
moneyed contributions for this year, May 1907-1908, is
$56,190.70, an increase of $9,165.18 over last year. ..For the
219 missionaries and 334 native helpers on the foreign
mission field, the Raleigh Association, with 4,295 members
raised $1,607.46, which is thirty-seven cents per member.
The societies stressed tithing, and when they heard of needs, they
gave enthusiastically. Often, tithing was discussed at their annual
meetings. The records show that Miss Elizabeth Briggs addressed the
delegates at the 1910 session and then
The tithing cards were distributed and the delegates were
asked to think about the matter and return the cards with the
blanks filled. Quite a number resolved to undertake the
Mrs. T. W. Kelley, writing to the Biblical Recorder (March 11, 1914)
describes the exuberance of their giving:
On Jubilate Day, which was celebrated in Raleigh last
Monday, our women received such inspiration and became
so enthusiastic over the great cause of missions that this day
will long stand as a memorable day in the annals of our
When the object of the Judson Centennial Fund was
explained, the women were so drawn to the need of better
equipment in the foreign field that they immediately pledged
$1700 for this purpose.
Training Schools received their support. According to the Recorder
(February 19,1908) Raleigh has set for itself
the aim of $500 for its societies, for the Permanent Endow-
ment of our Training Schools. The latest news from one who
ought to know is "I think we will get it."
The Seventy-five Million Campaign, a five-year plan that the Southern
Baptist Convention adopted for expansion of all mission work — home
and foreign — received their characteristic response.
Sometimes the gifts to missions were by the direct routes, reminis-
cent of the giving when the societies were very young. Mrs. H. W. Morris,
president of the Holly Springs Woman's Missionary Society, described,
in 1914, what her group had done:
Our Woman's Missionary Society has been growing in
interest and activity the past few years. We have just sent Dr.
T. B. Ray $30.00 for the support of a Bible Woman in China,
and we think our church will soon take the support of a native
The ladies of the Cary Society made their major thrust of 1912 "securing
enough money to support a Bible Woman in China" — a continuing
THE SPIRIT OF PROGRESS/47
project for a number of years. Many other societies, as well, were active in
"Adopt a Missionary" programs.
When churches petitioned for financial aid in building their places of
worship, the Woman's Missionary Societies responded. In 1903, Hood's
Grove Missionary Church asked "earnestly for aid in building a house of
worship." 7 The Fuquay Springs Missionary Church, in 1902, wrote:
We are weak, both financially and numerically, we petition
you for liberal help to build our church home. We hope to be
a strong body in the not far future. Please help us. 8
The "new" church at Wake Forest received help, though it was not
solicited. At the State Missions Day Exercises, September 25, 1914, after
the Rev. W. W. Johnson, pastor of the Wake Forest Church, spoke to
the Society of the First Church, Raleigh, "they responded with $1,500 to
the new church, in the hope their example will provoke unto love and
good works." 9
Teaching Children to Give
Children were taught the meaning of their gifts, the leaders often
assisting them in writing letters to missionaries. This little song taught by
Miss Esther Ivey many years ago showed the Cary Sunbeams the reason
for their giving:
Dropping, dropping, dropping, dropping,
Hear the pennies fall.
Every one for Jesus,
He will use them all.
An inspired training was in planned giving. When the children gave,
they had earned their own money. A letter to the Biblical Recorder
(March 21, 1906) tells of the Yates Mission Band that had worked so hard
for their offerings:
In November the boys and girls took five cents each to see
how much they could make it grow into. On December 11,
the children brought in what they had made. Some had made
theirs by bringing in wood, others made and sold candy,
cakes and beaten biscuits. One girl did hemstitch, another
blacked shoes, another made fires. One did errands. One
made $3 selling clothes and handkerchief bags. They had
collected $14. Five dollars to the Margaret Home and the rest
to the Yates Memorial Missionaries.
The same kind of planned giving was taking place among the little
ones of the Sunbeam Band at Youngsville. A letter to Miss Briggs from
Mrs. J. B. Perry and Mrs. B. G. Allen reads:
We are sending you the longest list of dollar Sunbeams we
have ever had. All of these gave one dollar or more to the
Christmas offering. If any society has a larger number, we
would like to hear from them. All of them — twenty-five —
except the very least, earned their money. 10
48/ AND GREATER WORKS
No less inspiring is the letter from the Leesville Church in 1908 about
Last Fourth Sunday we gathered our Sunbeams together for
the church offering for the El Paso Schools. We gathered the
envelopes and found them to contain five dollars. We had
two little boys to give one dollar each. It was indeed
interesting to hear how they made their money, most of
them, instead of begging, made their money, which, I think,
was even better. May the Lord's richest blessing rest upon
each one of these little ones. May their lives be useful in the
Master's work. 11
Much of the giving followed this plan of "self -giving for the souls of
others" that Miss Heck had suggested back in 1895. It became another
great theme of the societies of the Raleigh Association.
From the "Soup Kitchen" that the Tabernacle Society operated
during the influenza epidemic of 1918 — to Samaria Society's sponsorship
of Sunday School for fifteen years in the Raleigh Rest Home on Dowling
Road — to the Wendell Society's taking care of the needs of the shut-ins of
the community — to Mt. Moriah Society's packing Thanksgiving boxes
for the orphanage and gathering good literature to send to the Convict
Camp in Garner — all these, and other "works," show societies reaching
out to help.
The annual meetings gave much time to community missions, the
delegates often telling of the personal service work being done by their
societies. In 1919, Mrs. Charles E. Brewer, of the First Church, Raleigh,
was appointed chairman of a Personal Service Committee. She reported
Many societies testify to the helpfulness of personal service,
in adding life to the Societies, in deepening spirituality.
Of their service, Miss Heck said,
'The preparation is of God, first to see, then to do." 12
They Looked Beyond Themselves
Missionary training of young people came to the forefront. Toward
the end of the first decade, the annual sessions gave over the afternoon
program on the second full day to the youth work.
At the session, 1909, there were reports of the Sunbeams, the Royal
Ambassadors, and the Young Woman's Auxiliary. These reports speak
THE SPIRIT OF PROGRESS/49
well for the societies of the Raleigh and Central Associations, and it was
during this very same year that plans were laid to promote the
organization of the Royal Ambassadors.
These churches participated:
Fuquay Springs Morrisville
Holly Springs Fayetteville Street
Young Woman's Auxiliary
Holly Springs Morrisville
Interest was growing. At the annual session, 1915, Mrs. J. H.
Weathers, of Tabernacle, gave an especially strong appeal, showing that
the success of Sunbeam work depended upon the women of the church
and especially upon the woman's society. Mrs. C. W. Upchurch, also of
Tabernacle, followed Mrs. Weathers, "earnestly urging the training of our
children." At several other sessions and for societies that called on her
help, Miss Elizabeth Briggs, who had been named Band Superintendent,
discussed several phases of the young people's work — Young Woman's
Auxiliary (YWA), Girl's Auxiliary (GA), Royal Ambassadors (RA),
Sunbeams — making suggestions and giving information along all lines.
The societies recognized the importance of setting goals, and the
WMU Annual Session of 1910 was significant because it looked to the
future in specific ways. Resolutions were adopted at that meeting which
touched all age groups.
The resolutions emphasized mission study and Bible classes, a
Week of Prayer in January, prayer and support of the Louisville Training
School and the Margaret Home, and the continued use and support of
the Calendar of Prayer and the Biblical Recorder.
Such goals speak of greater works.
Strmath 3\dd&d. lo Sbr&ruitfp
STRENGTH ADDED TO STRENGTH/53
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and
not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
The climax of the history of the Woman's Missionary Union during
the first half of the Twentieth Century was the merging of the Central
Association with the Raleigh Association in 1944. It was to be a climax of
strength, a change which was of the present but for the future of the
During this first half of the century, another most interesting
occurrence came about — this, in the year 1930 when the leaders thought
back to the past accomplishments of the Woman's Missionary Union.
They began to realize that the past should be preserved in the form of a
local history, and what more appropriate time than when the WMU was
rounding out its 44th year.
This period, 1921-1944, was almost a mid point in its history, when
the WMU looked at its past and looked at its future.
A Time to Reflect on the Past
The Proceedings of the annual meeting of the Woman's Missionary
Union of the Raleigh Association, September 25, 1930, include mention of
a history that had been written (or, perhaps, had been started and was in
a preliminary stage).
The history of the WMU of the Raleigh Asociation, written by
Miss Maude Wilson, was read by Mrs. A. V. Baucom, as Miss
Wilson could not be present. As it was hard to get correct
information for writing the history, Miss Wilson requested
that a committee be appointed, composed of Mrs. Joe
Weathers and Mrs. A. V. Baucom, to assist her in the work
and let same be printed in the minutes of the 1931 Session for
future reference, which request was complied with.
The minutes of the Annual Session, October 27 and 28, 1931, do not
include the history; however, a lengthy "Report on Woman's Missionary s
Union," was written by Mrs. R. N. Sims, who had served the Association <[T
and Union with distinction. The account, in the 1931 minutes, was
historical in tone and concerned with the over-all achievements of WMU.
Its missionary fervor is summed up in a quatrain, which is the ending:
We know the lands that are sunk in shame,
54/ AND GREATER WORKS
Of hearts that faint and tire,
But we know a name, a name, a name,
That can set those lands on fire.
Elsewhere in the minutes of 1931 is a tribute to the Woman's
Missionary Union and points to the steadfast adherence to its purpose,
true from its very beginning.
The achievements of the Woman's Missionary Union in the
Raleigh Association during the past years have been gratify-
ing indeed. Not only do our records show marked advance-
ment in contributions and in members enlisted, but interest
has proved equally well in mission study. Our Woman's
Missionary Union strived by prayer, mission study, personal
service, and stewardship to develop the four-fold life, that life
marked out by Jesus himself...
When leaders look to the past as they prepare for the future, this
kind of wisdom, also, is greater works.
The Superintendents (1921-1944)
The Woman's Missionary Union continued to be blessed with
capable leaders, or superintendents, all of whom shared their varied
Mrs. G. N. Cowan, of Apex Church, served from 1919-1921.
She had a zeal for missions, speaking of the responsibility
of missions that "rests upon us." A worker for many
years, she remained involved long after her term of office
Mrs. C. R. Boone served in 1922.
Stressing the need for prompt and accurate reporting,
she was interested both in the growth and in the grading
of the societies. She was a member of Tabernacle
Mrs. Z. M. Caveness, of Tabernacle Church, served from
1923-1924. An advocate of "Personal Service," she
served as Chairman from 1922-1943. Fiscal responsibility
also was at the heart of her desire for all the societies.
Mrs. J. T. Allen, of Wendell Church, served from 1925-1927.
A very thorough worker, she made sure that the varied
areas of WMU work received attention.
Mrs. John Berry served from 1928-1934.
She served well for six years. It was during her office term
STRENGTH ADDED TO STRENGTH/55
that a history of the association was proposed. She was a
member of Tabernacle Church.
Miss Vera Ruth, of Tabernacle Church, served in 1935.
Long active in young people's work, she was Young
People's Leader in 1937, after her office as superinten-
dent was completed.
Mrs. L. L. Morgan served from 1936-1938.
She furthered the goals of the Jubilee, the One Hundred
Thousand Club, and the Heck Memorial. She, too,
belonged to Tabernacle Church.
Mrs. Grace Sorrell, of Mt. Hermon Church, served from
She was an excellent organizer, particularly in the area of
educating "our people" in missions. Mrs. Sorrell wrote A
History of the Raleigh Baptist Good Will Center.
Mrs. Nathan C. Brooks, of First Church, Raleigh, served in
An able leader, she inspired growth in missions.
Mrs. J. E. Wilder, of Mount Moriah Church, served from
Thoroughly innovative, she continued to emphasize
missions and the formation of missionary organizations
in unenlisted churches.
Missions Emphasis and New Societies
The societies gave greater emphasis than ever before to organizing
mission study classes. Results were extraordinary, because this effort
involved the unenlisted, and a number of new societies were formed
By 1922, there were already 21 mission study classes, and interest
was growing. Mrs. J. C. Boomhour, the Mission Study Leader in 1924 and
1925, constantly emphasized the importance of the mission study
classes, and soon the leaders were working to enlist everyone in mission
study. At the annual session at Tabernacle Church (April 17, 1932), Mrs.
Charles E. Maddrey, trustee of the Southwest Training School at Fort
Worth, urged enlistment of men, as well as women and young people.
Back in 1925, she had talked about the need for enlistment.
We have money enough, time enough, and talent enough,
but our folks need enlisting. 1
Leaders made innovative plans to foster mission study and reach
56/ AND GREATER WORKS
One interesting plan to stimulate interest, the first perhaps of its
kind, came about in 1938, when both the Central and the Raleigh
associations held a joint Mission Study Institute. And the next year, in the
First Church, Raleigh, an all-day mission study class was conducted,
again for both associations. Mrs. W. C. James, of Richmond, was the
excellent teacher, using her own recent biography of Miss Fannie E. S.
Heck as the textbook. 2
The superintendent in 1940, Mrs. Grace Sorrell, devised plans to
reach every woman in the association. One plan was that of sending
representatives into every church in the association to work with the
Sunday School and Baptist Training Union leaders. The representatives
spoke at the close of the Sunday School hour, thus having access to a
large group in each church.
Another plan was that of dividing the churches into five groups and
having a mission study held in one church of each of the five groups. The
teacher was Mrs. J. M. Wilder, who used the book Stewardship Parables
of Jesus. It seems that Mrs. Sorrell's plan was well received. According to
Already, the women are asking that this group study be
repeated. So we are planning, in cooperation with the general
association, to have a foreign missionary with us for five days
in March, when the entire membership of the churches will
be invited to take part. 3
Missionaries were invited to speak to mission study classes and to
the annual sessions, a practice that went back at least as early as 1921.
The missionaries inspired new growth and heightened interest in mission
work across the seas. Those who spoke are a veritable roll call of
outstanding missionaries active at the time.
Mrs. Flora Bostick of Po-Chow China, in 1921, urged the
goals of the Seventy-Five Million Campaign.
The Rev. Bun Olive, Missionary to China, 1926, told of his
work in China and the need of those people for the gospel
Dr. D. W. Herring, returned missionary form China, 1927,
spoke at a most inspiring service.
Miss Pearl Johnson, of Shanghai, China, 1938, gave a
message, "The Kindgom Work in China."
Miss Wilma Bucy, Field Secretary of the Home Mission
Board, 1939, made a mission address.
Mrs. Frank T. Woodward, of Canton, China, 1940, spoke on
"Fruits of the Work."
Mrs. A. R. Gallimore, Missionary to China, 1941, spoke on
"Frontier Mission Work in China." 4
STRENGTH ADDED TO STRENGTH/57
Mrs. Flora Bostick
and Mr. Bostick
Rev. Bunyan Olive Dr. D. W. Herring
Miss Roberta Pearl
Mrs. Frank T.
Mrs. A. R. Gallimore
Mrs. J. E. Wilder, the Superintendent in 1942-1944, continued to use
the plan of dividing the churches into five groups. She wrote:
To enlarge our vision of and deepen our cause for missions,
the Rev. and Mrs. D. F. Stamps and Mr. Bun Olive, retired
missionaries from China, have been secured to speak in each
of our five groups of churches. Also, plans have been made to
have Miss Myrtle Zentmeyer, our State WMU Field Worker,
teach several all-day mission study classes between
December 7 and 8. 5
Mrs. Wilder also started an associational mission study library,
under the direction of a mission study chairman. Women contributed
their used books and participated in a special offering, at the associational
meeting, to buy new books.
58/ AND GREATER WORKS
Just before the merger, when Mrs. Wilder learned, in 1943, that
there were churches with no missionary organizations, she announced,
Plans have been made to teach a Bible study or stewardship
class in each of these churches, with a view to organizing at
the close of the study. 6
When the Central and Raleigh associations merged, there was
justifiable tribute to mission study:
Mission Study classes and institutes are great factors in
The Wake Cross Roads Woman's Missionary Society was singled out,
nearly always heads the list in the number of classes held,
having had eight already. They not only read the books and
have the classes but take an examination and get the awards.
They are to be commended for such interest in missions, and
for setting such a splendid example for the rest of us. 7
The time for new societies had come. Women were ready to do more
for missions in their own church. They were hearing about what was
being done in the larger churches where societies had already been
formed, and many women from those churches having already organized
societies helped other churches by attending their meetings and offering
any help they could give.
In 1930, Mrs. J. R. Sugg of the Pleasant Grove Church, Mrs. W. T.
Hunt of Apex, Mrs. Herbert House of Cary, and Mrs. R. T. Herring of
Zebulon served as leaders of four groups whose purpose was to organize
Woman's Missionary Societies in all unenlisted churches.
Salem and Wake Cross Roads, 1921
Among the new societies were Salem Church and Wake Cross
Roads Church, both of which organized in 1921. The WMU at
Salem was really a reorganization in the early 1920's, probably
1921, for the Salem Woman's Missionary Society appears in an
1897 listing of societies when "Salem Woman's Missionary
Society raised $5.00 for State Missions." The Wake Cross Roads
Society grew out of a remarkable dedication to missions that went
back in time at least a hundred years. "A missionary meeting was
held at this church the first Sunday in August 1821. The meeting
lasted three days!
Bethany Church organized its society in 1922 at the home of
Mrs. Ruth Weathers, and elected her the first president.
Hayes Barton, 1926
The Hayes Barton Woman's Missionary Society was formed
a short time after the church itself organized on November 7,
STRENGTH ADDED TO STRENGTH/59
1926. Under the leadership of Mrs. J. W. Bunn, its first president,
the society became an immediate "part of perfecting an organiza-
tion"; for at the second meeting of the membership on Sunday
afternoon a week later, the first collection for missions was taken,
to be carried to the Baptist State Convention, which opened two
days later in Wilmington.
Bayleaf, Calvary, and Pleasant Grove, 1930's
In the early thirties, the Bayleaf Church WMU organized, with
Mrs. Jettie Norwood serving as president.
The WMU of Calvary Church began, as a Woman's Missionary
Society, which first met in 1923 at the church, then called
Southside. Mrs. C. J. Thomas was the president. In 1940, Mrs. J.
W. Ray and eleven other ladies reorganized the WMU. By 1944
the group had grown to a membership of 40, under the leadership
of Mrs. O. T. Rideout.
Pleasant Grove Church organized its society, at the church in
1936, when the eight present elected Mrs. Ruth Sugg as the first
president — a position she held for twenty-five years! Some of the
members of Tabernacle Church were present to help them with
the organizing. Later, from this society, a G A and Acteen would
become a missionary to Brazil — Nancy Bennett Callis, who
serves with her husband, Mr. F. Danny Callis, Jr.
Mount Olivet, 1940
The Mount Olivet Society was organized several years later, in
1940, with Mrs. Beaman Kelly the first president.
New Hill, 1942
The WMU of New Hill Church began October 23, 1942, at the
home of Miss Margaret Bright, the first president being Mrs. L. P.
Oldham. There were seventeen members that first year. To a
charter member and first secretary and treasurer, Miss Margaret
Irene Bright, the 1967 Associational Annual was dedicated.
Educating young people in missions was an important part of the
major emphasis. Many women spoke for the cause, but perhaps none
more strongly than Miss Nina Kellam at the Annual Meeting, 1927.
Stressing the importance of organizing and teaching our youth, from the
little Sunbeams to the Young Women's Association, she said such
organizations are vital:
Then we will have leaders for our societies, the attendance in
60/ AND GREATER WORKS
our WMS will be larger, and our work will go forward as
Mrs. Alva Lawrence, Young People's Leader in 1929, was also most
effective in her appeal; and Mrs. Gordon Middleton, active in GA and RA
work and Young People's Leader from 1930-1932, seemed to underscore
the influence of the leader:
Sometimes their interest is determined by our attitude. We
must be interested in them and their work. 8
When Mrs. Middleton visited the counselors at their meetings with
the children, she led the cause:
Remember what a great honor it is to be sharing responsi-
bility in the Lord's work. We will make His name known, but
if we are not to be left out of sharing the privilege, we must be
'up and doing.' 9
Many others rendered unselfish service. Mrs. George Upchurch
served as YWA and GA Superintendent from 1922-1924, working to
further new youth organizations of which there was already a total of nine
YWA societies and ten GA groups in the association. Mrs. John Sears,
serving as Associational Youth Director in 1926, was especially pleased
about the new organizations that year and the respective churches:
For the GA's:
Mrs. J. R. Harris, Fuquay Springs
Mrs. Joe Wilkerson, Pleasant Union
Miss Maude Barber, Salem
Miss Mildred Taylor, Collins Grove
For the Sunbeams:
Mrs. C. C. Ballentine, Fuquay Springs
Mrs. A. G. Allen, Pullen Memorial 10
Mrs. E. W. Hillard, of Morrisville, served in 1932 as Young People's
Leader. Other leaders were Mrs. C. C. Jones, of Apex, elected in 1938;
Miss Vera Ruth, who served in 1937; and Mrs. George Griffin, of Zebulon,
who served in 1940.
All the leaders stressed tithing.
Because many young people attended the annual meetings, they
were often recognized, and programs were presented especially for their
interest and benefit. Many times, leaders from outside the Raleigh area
were invited to speak on young people's work.
Always eager to recognize excellence, the leaders made a practice of
calling attention to special achievements such as these:
The Wendell YWA is 10 years old. It has 23 active members
and has never missed having a regular meeting in 10 years 11
GA, Tabernacle has the honor of being A-l for the last two
STRENGTH ADDED TO STRENGTH/61
Such dedication by these — and others — bore fruit, for when the
Raleigh and Central associations merged, their reports were good:
In the Raleigh Association, there were 51 Junior
12 Sunbeam Bands
In the Central Association, there were 46 Junior Organizations.
Speaking on "Missionary Education for Young People" at the annual
session in 1944, Dr. Charles E. Maddrey pointed to the role of WMU in
training young people:
Through the Junior Organizations, we feel we are helping to
teach them to pray, to study their Bibles and world needs, to
give as stewards their time, talents, and money, and through
the activities of community missions, to learn to serve their
Small Gifts and Large Gifts
Giving was not new to the members of the Woman's Missionary
Societies. It was their reason for being. On the same day they organized,
History records, in quiet tribute, that many of the churches gave to
missions long before societies were formed. Pleasant Grove Church, for
example, had collectors appointed once a year to contact members and
others to give money for missions. So it is not surprising that during the
first years of its Woman's Missionary Society the members cheerfully
gave as the Lord had prospered them. Their "Egg Club" gave the
"Sunday" eggs for the cause of missions, some members reporting that
their hens laid more eggs on Sunday than on any other day of the week!
Such a history of giving meant a natural acceptance of tithing, when
it was suggested on the state level. The first local stewardship chairman
was Mrs. R. H. Herring. She spoke to the societies of the profound
meaning of stewardship:
This year ( 1930) is the beginning of a definite organized effort
to bring about a stewardship consciousness among the
women and young people... I wish to urge that each society
appoint a stewardship chairman and she report to me the
number of tithers, also recommend that during the year each
society try to urge as many members as can to read some
book on stewardship, reporting this to me — and that we urge
62/ AND GREATER WORKS
anew the study of the Bible concerning stewardship and
Mrs. J. E. Wilder 's words were like an echo, when she spoke at the
Annual Session in 1942:
Major emphasis has been placed on stewardship. The
Woman's Missionary Union adopted a goal of one million
dollars toward a debtless denomination by 1943. Eight new
tithers bring our total to 267. Officers are urging all societies
to have more classes in stewardship and to observe Steward-
There was a total of 503 tithers in 1943, which the Raleigh Association
reported at the merger.
Their gifts for the first three quarters of the year were $6,274.19.
Undergirding Southern Baptist Emphases
As loyal stewards of their material possessions, the members of this
maturing Woman's Missionary Union undergirded various emphases
with larger gifts. They needed only to be told of the need!
For the Seventy-Five Million Campaign, the emphasis
between 1918-1923 which was the expansion of all mission
work, they listened to Mrs. Flora Bostick of Po-Chow, China,
as she told them what the success of the campaign meant to
the workers on the field. By 1924, they were "winding up their
For the Training School, they responded with their means,
after hearing Mrs. J. T. Hester speak at their 1936 Annual
For the Ruby Anniversary, the fortieth anniversary, they
gave, after listening to Mrs. C. E. Maddrey (1927 Annual
Session) explain its purpose and to Mrs. John D. Berry, the
next year, urge them to increase their gifts forty percent.
For the Centennial Plan, the golden Jubilee Celebration,
they gave, after hearing the call for funds, at their meeting at
First Church, Raleigh (1936).
To the Heck Memorial Offering, as part of the celebration,
they gave joyfully.
To the One Hundred Thousand Club they donated, and
in 1943 heard with interest,
The 107 new memberships in the one Hundred Thousand
Club prove that women have been mindful of our debt.
Community Missions continued as a way of reaching people for
Christ. Again and again, delegates to the annual sessions told of much
personal service that was being done in their respective societies. Mrs. C.
E. Maddrey 's voice was very effective, as in 1922, she stressed,
STRENGTH ADDED TO STRENGTH/63
Finding the need in your community and then doing it, from
the giving of a cup of cold water to leading a lost soul to
Often, the entire membership of a church was led to a deeper
concern for missions because of the ministry of the women's societies in
their own community and elsewhere. This ministry could be cleaning the
church, singing with the patients at Dorothea Dix Hospital, making quilts
for the orphanage. Or it could be Good Hope's leading a monthly prayer
study at Howard's Rest Home, where "many of the people offered
prayers that are worthy of any church." Or it could be the Stoney Hill
Society's giving aid to far-away places, with its monthly contributions to
the Skygusty Mission Church in West Virginia. Or it could be the Hayes
Barton Society's providing lunches for undernourished school children at
In 1933, there is the first mention of a Personal Service chairman,
who was probably Mrs. S. W. Oldham. She urged the societies to report
on their service "even though they felt that sometimes they did not have
much to report." 15
The report that Mrs. J. E. Wilder made in 1943, just before the
merger, was splendid:
There are 32 organizations participating in community
missions with soul-winning as the chief objective — and 32
persons reportedly have been led to Christ as a result of the
Mrs. Bertha A. Wilder,
Superintendent in 1942-1944,
the time of the merger
64/ AND GREATER WORKS
The Standard of Excellence
This maturing Woman's Missionary Union continued to grade its
work according to the Standard of Excellence.
As early as 1925, Mrs. J. T. Allen, the Superintendent, listed the
societies included in the List of Honor:
Pullen Memorial A-l
Holly Springs B
Green Level C
Knight's Chapel C
Shady Grove C
Pleasant Plains D
"Next year," she exhorted, "we hope to have many more societies on the
List of Honor. Get the Standard of Excellence and begin now and see
how many points you can make before the next meeting in Green
The grading included young people's organizations as well, often in
The Merging of Central and Raleigh Associations
The union of the Central Association with the Raleigh Association
became an accomplished fact in 1944. Here was strength, for the
churches brought with them a record of achievement.
According to the Constitution, Article I, Section 1:
This association shall be called the Raleigh Baptist
Steps had been taken to accomplish this union. At the Eighty-fourth
Session of the Central Association, August 23, 1943, the following
resolution was adopted:
First, it is the desire of the Central Association to join with the
Raleigh Association in forming a combination of the two
societies and that a special committee be appointed to
STRENGTH ADDED TO STRENGTH/65
convey this desire to the next meeting of the Raleigh
One can only conjecture about the impact of the Woman's
Missionary Union on the eventual merger, the women from both
associations having met jointly on two significant occasions: the Mission
Study Institute held at the Tabernacle Church in 1938 and the all-day
Mission Study Class in 1939. Both meetings had a large attendance.
flbtfim £hrtii Glass
Central and Raleigh
IX ,oll..i...l— Mr.. \\ . V Jon.-.
Sto.l> ..! Kal.nl. K. S. H.-.k." I«l bj
Mr.. V. t\ 4i»ii><-.. RWimwI. Vi...
...uli-.r or the hook.
Pulflpi rt.-o.llns— Mr.. J. !>• '<•»••
|-r. n .-i Mr.. T. M. rllli..i.«.
Ktmlj of iMM.k .....UI.U.-.I.
< I0.I1.K I'r.i.r— Mr.. « I' Hr'KS.-
The Program of the Joint Mission Study Institute
Of the 32 churches that became a part of the Raleigh Association, 23
had Women's Missionary Societies. While every one of these societies
was significant, the four largest brought strength in numbers:
First Baptist Church, with 275 WMU members and six youth
groups of 119 members
Hayes Barton Church, with 178 WMU members and five
youth groups of 111 members
Wake Forest Church, with 85 WMU members and five youth
groups of 91 members
Rolesville Church, with 79 WMU members and five youth
The total membership of the WMS and the youth organizations was
about 1600. All four churches had organized Sunbeams, G A's, RA's, and
66/ AND GREATER WORKS
YWA's, with the exception of Wake Forest Church, which had no RA's.
The churches represented four fully-graded Unions, one church — Hayes
Barton— having the distinction of being A-l, fully graded. 19
With World War II nearing an end, the leaders of the societies
conducted two very important meetings to prepare for the future. A
symposium of WMU methods was presented by those who, among
others, knew the Raleigh area best:
Mrs. N. C. Brooks
Miss Mary Currin
Mrs. G. K. Middleton
Mrs. J. F. Farmer
Mrs. Charles Stephenson
Mrs. Z. M. Caveness 20
Immediately after the symposium, the State WMU President, Mrs. J.
F. Farmer, continued the theme "Christ Excelled in All the Earth,"
emphasizing that the ultimate aim for carrying on kingdom work after the
war would be the same but that methods might be different.
The new Superintendent of the
combined association, now the
Raleigh Association, was Mrs. F. O.
Mixon, who was beautifully qualified
to serve at this strategic time. The
increased size was to stimulate further
growth and development.
There would be greater works,
undreamed of in 1886.
Mrs. F. O. Mixon, the first
Superintendent of the
STRENGTH ADDED TO STRENGTH/67
/ GMUBCMES of the
The Central Association, 1940
The Raleigh Baptist Association, 1946
Cfxanqlna 'Vatterns Tor Cfumqind Tunes
CHANGING PATTERNS FOR CHANGING TIMES/71
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and
thy patience and thy works; and the last to be more than the
first. (Revelation 2:19)
Of "the works" of the Woman's Missionary Union, Mrs. L. L.
Carpenter, Superintendent in 1955, wrote as a true visionary:
I feel strongly that the organization of the years fitted
wonderfully into the needs of the present hour... The
programs were strong enough to last through the years to my
Yes, in historical perspective, the WMU in the second half of the
Twentieth Century was to see no major changes, for the "organization of
the years" did have the strength to be modified to meet new needs.
Many of the changes were an answer to the dynamics of the Raleigh
area. The demographics — a larger urban center, increasing efforts to
industrialize, larger numbers of college students, people of diverse
backgrounds, changing cultural patterns, more churches, larger
churches — all speak of changes in obligation. All speak of expanding
ministries — outside the four walls of the churches.
Other changes were made, to meet the needs of the internal growth
of the organization. There must be divisions of the whole, an attention to
meeting the needs of members separated by distance and background
The Leaders (1945-1986)
Through the years, the associational leadership has been dedicated
to accomplishing whatever was necessary to support the members and
to strengthen the purpose of the organization.
The designation of these leaders has changed from superintendent
to president to director. After having been called superintendents for
many years, the leaders came to be called presidents from 1956 to 1967.
Mrs. W. C. Atkinson was the first president. Then, in 1968, Mrs. Kyle
Graybeal was the first to be called director. This latter designation
Mrs. F. O. Mixon, of Tabernacle Church, served from
She had been trustee of the WMU Training School in
Louisville, and, as the first superintendent of the combined
72/ AND GREATER WORKS
association, she worked to bring together all facets of the
Mrs. D. M. Merritt, of Temple Church, served from 1948-1951.
Interested in accurate statistical reporting, she established
this significant pattern, so necessary at the time.
Mrs. W. M. Page, of Fuquay Varina Church, served from
A good writer and an innovator, she introduced beautiful
approaches to more effective prayer life. After her term,
Mrs. Page worked as Director of Mission Training Funda-
Mrs. Foy Johnson Farmer, of First Church, Raleigh, served
This leader was recognized not only at home but also on
the state level, where she held positions of responsibility.
Her history of the state WMU, Hitherto, is but one of her
Mrs. L. L. Carpenter, of First Church, Raleigh, served from
She was an excellent leader, devoting her talent also to a
splendid account of the WMU of the Raleigh Association.
Mrs. W. C. Adkinson, of First Church, Garner, served from
Stressing the importance of over-all cooperation within
the church, she established good examples of cooperation
with the Brotherhood.
Mrs. Earl Crumpler, of Calvary Church, served from
A sponsor of interesting mission institutes and prayer
retreats, she inspired others.
Mrs. John Carpenter, of Forest Hills Church, served from
She was thorough and detailed in recording the work of
Mrs. J. Kyle Graybeal, also of Forest Hills Church, served
An effective conference leader, she believed strongly that
teaching missions is the first task of the WMU and that
flexible plans help to achieve goals.
Mrs. James R. Gates, First Church, Cary, served from
An excellent organizer, she was gracious in expressions of
appreciation to those who assumed special responsibility.
Mrs. Roy M. Purser, Jr., of First Church, Raleigh, served
CHANGING PATTERNS FOR CHANGING TIMES/73
A competent long-range planner, she carefully related the
work from one year to another. In 1982, Mrs. Purser
served as Enlistment and Enlargement Director.
Mrs. L. D. Holt, of Emmanuel Church, served from 1979-1982.
Being very much interested in urban ministries, she
attended well to all facets of the work.
Mrs. T. L. Cashwell, Jr. , of Hayes Barton Church, began her
service in 1983.
A creative and understanding leader, she has worked
effectively in carrying out the mission purpose of the
WMU and the formation of new societies. She was
chairman of the Local Arrangements Committee for the
celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the
Adapting to Size
The WMU became more and more aware of its increased size, and it
worked to make organizational changes so that its services were both
fitted and available to the members. Changes in organization and
nomenclature on the state level, that came about in 1968, also helped
members meet their needs, as they chose their own area of involvement
in groups with different fields of activity.
About mid-century, the associational leaders began to see the need
of organizing the churches into groups. Mrs. D. W. Merritt, Superinten-
dent in 1951, was the first to report an effort to organize the seven regions
of churches having WMU groups. Each region was to have a chairman to
supplement the work of the superintendent and also a young people's
leader. At that time, four groups had been organized:
Groups 2 and 5, with Mrs. J. Samuel Johnson, Chairman
Group 3, with Mrs. W. M. Page, Chairman
Group 4, with Mrs. J. R. Nipper, Chairman 2
Then, there were 5,161 members, and the groupings worked well
especially in enlisting and forming new societies. By 1956, the plan was
completed, with 82 churches and the Good Will Center divided into five
Foy Farmer Group — 22 churches, Mrs. Polk Denmark,
A. R. Gallimore Group — 11 churches, Mrs. C. L. Bowling,
74/ AND GREATER WORKS
Johnson Dozier Group — 19 churches, Mrs. L. M. Wool-
John Lake Group — 19 churches, Mrs. J. R. Nipper, leader
Vivian Nowell Group — 11 churches, Mrs. J. R. Hester, leader
Each of these groups had its respective leadership conferences with
the associational officers, thus coordinating the work more effectively. All
in all, this reorganization was successful.
It is interesting that the idea for the Raleigh Association Cluster
Groups, operative since 1979, probably came from the WMU, that had
since mid-century used its own divisional plans with success.
The position of associate superintendent began in 1951, with Mrs. J.
S. Johnson the first one to assume that office. Those who have served are
a roll call of dedicated women, among whom are these in the order of their
Mrs. G. S. Pruden Mrs. Zeb Strickland
Mrs. Roger Crook Mrs. Roy M. Purser, Jr.
Mrs. Robert L. Costner Mrs. T. L. Cashwell, Jr.
Mrs. L. C. Horton Mrs. Don Hurlbut
Mrs. James R. Gates Mrs. Thomas Bland
Mrs. Horace Hamm
Divisions served several other purposes. The WMU organization, in
1954, was divided into four groups "to develop discovered talent, to find
new leadership in helping the societies carry out the Lord's great
About this time, the WMU began to schedule meetings at various
locations and times of the day. The first Day and Night Meeting of the
Mission Study Institute was in 1961, Mrs. W. R. Grigg, the Mission Study
Chairman, conducting the Institute. Also, care was exercised that
outside speakers be available to several areas of the city, as when Mrs.
Helen Fling taught her book, Catalyst in Action, in four churches: First
Church of Cary, Forest Hills Church, Hayes Barton Church and
Calvary Church. This kind of planning resulted in 850 in attendance.
Mrs. Roy M. Purser, Jr., arranged, in 1975, for six prayer services to
be held throughout the day and evening, thus promoting this new
approach. The next year, the Baptist Women's Day of Prayer was held in
two locations: Forest Hills Church in the morning and Highland Church
in the evening. This scheduling was followed again in 1980 when the
Baptist Women Prayer Retreats were held in several churches. A unique
adaptation to size occurred, also in 1980, when the World Day of Prayer
was observed at Tabernacle Church, while seven other churches met
individually. Again, there were four designated churches for the World
Day of Prayer in November 1983, and in 1984 there were five prayer
CHANGING PATTERNS FOR CHANGING TIMES/75
Among the Newer Societies
Such careful planning carried over to the newer societies. It led
inevitably to growth. The Temple Church WMU, which organized at the
pastor's home in 1959, grew from 29 members the first year to 57
members five years later. The WMU at Athens Drive Church held its first
meeting September 1954 with Mrs. C. B. Marcom as president and
doubled its membership the first year! From such strength would emerge
Mrs. William McElrath, now serving, with her husband, as foreign
missionary in Indonesia. Likewise, the twelve women from Highland
Church, who formed their WMU in May of the same year, under the
leadership of Mrs. Lee Prince, had a membership of 35 by the end of the
year. The Trinity Church WMU, organized April 1956, with 16 members
and Theresa Eason as president, had 102 members five year later — a
strength which produced Mrs. Nancy Hunter, state leader 1983 to 1984.
As the many new societies organized, they also took immediate
steps to make their programs fit changing needs. The Temple Church
WMU is representative of this kind of adaptation, for under the
leadership of Mrs. D. W. Merritt and the president, Mrs. A. R. Brasher,
they formed three circles — one to meet in the morning, one in the
afternoon, and one at night. Also the Ridge Road Church WMU planned
all phases of its WMU at once, including a day and a night circle.
The five decades witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of
societies, apart from the accompanying growth in membership, and
programs to fit the needs of the time.
In the 40's
The WMU of Central Church was organized in 1947, with Mrs.
J. N. Stancil as president. The Glen Royal Church WMU originated
between 1948 and 1950, probably by Mrs. C. H. Norris, the pastor's
wife, and Mrs. Arthur Gallimore, retired missionary from China. The
group of women "who met one Sunday night" had been members of
the Ladies' Aid Society. Mrs. Bessie Warren was the first president.
A retired missionary to China and Hawaii, Miss Virginia Lake has
long been closely associated with the Glen Royal Church WMU.
In the 50's
Four WMU's organized in 1950 — Emmanuel Church, Falls
Church, Longview Church, and St. John's Church. The
Woman's Missionary Society of Emmanuel Church began after the
evening service on September 17, 1950, with the aid of Mrs. Foy J.
Farmer, the president of the Woman's Missionary Union of North
Carolina. Under the leadership of the first president, Mrs. Alfonso
Jordon, the society increased from 11 members to 28 members by
76/ AND GREATER WORKS
the second year of her presidency; simultaneously, all the junior
organizations were added, giving Emmanuel Church a fully-graded
WMU. Recently, in 1984, Mrs. L. D. Holt and her husband began
serving in Europe for a two-year period as Missionary Associates.
The Falls Church WMU also organized, with Noreen Keith serving
as the first president.
On September 13, 1950, the Longuiew Church WMU began,
with Margaret Perry as president, assisted by Daisy Faison. From
this strength emerged Church and Home Missionaries, Mr. and Mrs.
Ken Childers, in Costa Rica. The Rev. Childers had served, at one
time, as associate pastor of Longview Church. The St. John's
Church WMU had 40 members the first year, being highly representa-
tive of the readiness in many churches for organization. Mrs. W. B.
Atchley was the first president. A missionary, Mrs. Zeb Moss, now
serving with her husband Mr. Zeb Moss, in Nairobi, Kenya, was a
member of this WMU.
Mrs. Henry Arnold served as the first president of Wakeminster
Church WMU, which started in 1951. Associated with this group is
Jean Elliot, a missionary in Honduras, who serves with her husband
Larry Elliot, a former pastor of Wakeminster Church.
Caraleigh Church, Carolina Pines, and Stoney Hill Church
organized in 1952. Although the history of the Caraleigh Church
WMU goes back to 1909, it reorganized in 1952 at the church, with
about 45 members the first year. Mrs. Jean Poe was president of the
newly organized group. She and her husband, John A. Poe, a former
pastor of the church, are missionaries in Brazil. The Carolina Pines
Church WMU first met at "a little house on church property," Mrs.
Gertrude Morgan being the first president. The WMU of Stoney Hill
Church organized also in 1952, with Mrs. W. C. Barham the
In 1954, Hillcrest Church WMU and Ridge Road Church WMU
organized. Mrs. Proctor Smith was the first president of the Hillcrest
Church WMU. At the home of Mrs. Wallace Alford, who was elected
president, the Ridge Road Church WMU was formed. From this
group emerged Reecie Sloan Craft, now an urban missionary in
The Fellowship Church WMU organized in 1959, having its
inception as an extension circle of the First Church, Garner. Mrs.
W. C. Atkinson, with the aid of some of the other ladies in the area,
was instrumental in bringing about this addition to the association.
The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Catherine Forrest,
whom the seven members elected president. This "new" organiza-
tion grew from 27 members in 1959 to 40 members by 1961.
The fifties witnessed these eleven organizations as well as
Temple Church, Athens Drive Church, Highland Church, and
CHANGING PATTERNS FOR CHANGING TIMES/77
In the 60s
A WMU at Turner Memorial Church organized in 1961 and
elected Patty Belle Young the president. Two years later in 1963 the
Macedonia Church WMU began, with Mrs. Bessie Lee Arrington
serving as their first president. Organizing in 1964 at the home of
Mrs. Peggy Branch, named the first president, the Greenwood
Forest Church WMU had 15 members the first year. Five years later
there were 87 members. The Ridgecrest Church WMU also
organized in 1964, with Carmel Lloyd the first president. Emerging
from this missions emphasis are Robert and Brenda Roberts — in
Panama — and Clarence and Carolyn Jackson, who serve on the
Island of Trinidad, the West Indies.
In the 70's
Five WMU's were organized in the 1970's — Crabtree Valley
Church, Green Pines Church, Aversboro Road Church, Com-
munity Church, New Light Church, and North Cary Church.
Crabtree Valley Church and Green Pines Church both organ-
ized in 1970, Mrs. Roy Smith, the first president of the Crabtree
Valley Church WMU, and Ava Strother of the Green Pines Church
WMU. From the Crabtree Valley Church organization would come
missionaries on the Ivory Coast — Charles and Kay Morrison.
In 1972, the Aversboro Road Church WMU organized, with
Dot Lambert the WMU Director. Associated with this WMU are
Gene and Jackie Phillips, who now serve in France.
A WMU began at Community in 1973. The first meeting was
held at the home of Mrs. Cora Shearon, and Mrs. Betty Horton
became the president. There were 12 members the first year.
The New Light Church WMU is representative of the societies
that have most recently reorganized. This WMU began back in 1940,
three years after the church organized, and reorganized in 1974.
Mrs. Beverly Moritz, the pastor's wife, is the president.
In the 80's
Among the "newest" is the Faith Church WMU, which
organized in 1981, with Mrs. Chesion Godson as the president. The
Pleasant Ridge women's group, while not an organized WMU,
meets once a month for discussion of mission work.
The Business Women's Federation and Baptist Young Women
New notes would be struck to met changing situations. Provisions
were made for "working" women, with the organizing of a Business
Women's Federation, in 1947. Interest was immediate. It is noteworthy
that this Federation was well represented at the State Business Women's
Camp at Seaside Assembly the very next summer. Mrs. D. W. Merritt,
Superintendent, reported that ten churches, in 1949, were affiliated, and
78/ AND GREATER WORKS
that the Federation was greatly strengthening the work of business
The report of 1950 is equally good:
The Business Women's Circle Federation is functioning
successfully with Dr. Mary Yarborough as chairman. 4
By 1952, there were nine circles, under the capable leadership of Mrs. E.
H. Simpson; another circle was organized the next year. Mrs. Bruce
Carter served as chairman in 1954, when the Federation had four
associational meetings, these to meet the needs of increased member-
ship. Recently, in 1983, a Business Women's Group was formed at the
Spanish Mission at Emmanuel Church.
To satisfy needs, Baptist Young Women organizations are increas-
ing. Salem Church, Ridge Road Church and Caraleigh Church WMU's
started new groups in early 1985.
Changing Community Missions
The last 40 years have witnessed much attention to Community
Missions, not different in purpose but different in method from the
ministry of earlier years. Societies continued to witness through meeting
individual needs, but Community Missions became a more planned and
coordinated ministry. The areas of concern reflect an awareness of
demographic changes in the Raleigh area. It is another form of adaptation
to the new.
The Rev. Charles L. McMillan, Director of Missions of the Raleigh
Association, writing in the 1982 Annual Report, emphasized the direction:
Our changing, complex society necessitates a comprehen-
sive, planned response to need.
Records show increasing participation and point to soul winning as
the ultimate goal. Mrs. F. O. Mixon, Superintendent in 1946, said that "36
of our missionary societies have been actively engaged in definite,
organized community mission work." 5 By 1948 more than 100 organiza-
tions were participating. Two years later, 2,200 members had a part in
Community Missions each quarter, with more than 200 women and
YWA girls stressing definite soul winning. In 1953, Mrs. W. M. Page,
Superintendent, reported that 122 organizations were engaged in the
work of Community Missions, with 5,083 members participating and
1,056 making definite efforts in soul winning.
The superintendents — and others — worked to coordinate action
with need. Mrs. W. M. Page, in 1952, carried out the first organized effort
to make a community survey of needs. 6 Again, in 1966, Mrs. John
CHANGING PATTERNS FOR CHANGING TIMES/79
Carpenter, president, had survey forms sent out to every WMU
president. The kinds of needs that were listed attest to changing times:
To the 3,300 International Students at North Carolina State
To the Cuban families in Raleigh
To the families of the Internationals 7
In the early seventies, the WMU made what is probably the most
significant step, up to that time, in its on-going effort to assess community
needs. As a cooperative work project, the WMU, the Brotherhood, and
the Christian Social Ministries Committee prepared a resource booklet
MAP (Mission Action Possibilities). This first guide served its purpose
well. When Mrs. James R. Gates, director, promoted in 1973, a two-year
emphasis, "Enlightenment and Enlargement," the survey provided
direction. Over 100 people attending a Mission Action Workshop at
Calvary Church heard of pressing areas of need:
Alcohol and drug abuse
In 1980, the WMU and Brotherhood updated MAP. Plans made in 1985
are underway, with Dennis Gabriel, Director of Missions/Ministries of
the RBA, to begin work on the Revised Mission Action Possibilities guide.
During this entire period, all the areas of need had follow-up, with
none receiving more attention than inmates. The Associational Mission
Action Project in 1976, a two-year plan, was the rehabilitation of inmates
at the Women's Correctional Center in a sponsorship plan of the honor
Under Mrs. L. D. Holt's leadership, several other excellent minis-
tries came about: 15 WMU women personally presented useful gifts, in
cooperation with Cannon Mills, to women prisoners; and Baptist Young
Women participated in the International Student Fellowship at North
Carolina State University. More recently, in 1982, the ministry to inmates
was in the form of a sponsorship which provided money for them to
attend the Seminary Extension classes. Ten churches gave money, from
$10 for beginning classes to $50 for advanced classes. Also during the
same year, an overwhelming amount of clothing and health kits were
provided for the Migrant Ministry, a need still being met with the Food
Box Program in 1983 and 1984. Participation in FIGS (Fill in Gaps) and in
the Craft Programs at the Correctional Center continues the Mission
Individual WMU's continue their ministry — in most creative ways.
The Emmanuel Society's conducting a Sunday School for men at the fire
station on Six Forks Road in Raleigh is representative of response to
current needs, wherever they are. The Longview Church WMU has
"grown from delivering Christmas baskets to year round help for 15
families" — with a well-stocked food pantry and $1200 in the budget for
80/ AND GREATER WORKS
this help! "We seek to meet the needs of our community wherever
possible, so that we can further the kingdom of Christ," says the
Greenwood Forest Church WMU.
Characteristically, participation in Community Missions has extend-
ed to the younger groups. The theme of the Day Camp for Girls in Action,
in 1981, was Ministry to the Deaf. And in 1983, the 110 Acteen and
Girls-in-Action at Camp Lapihio, Umstead Park, prepared health kits for
the migrants who would be coming into the state the next summer.
Yes, the WMU of the Raleigh Association is taking Christian love
into ever-changing situations of need — with understanding and integrity.
Such ministry is greater works.
Missions, The Unchanging Goal
As in the beginning, the WMU's during the past 40 years have
assumed their responsibility for teaching missions, always leading their
churches in mission efforts — promoting, giving, inspiring.
Leaders have continued to speak so eloquently of this primary goal.
Mrs. Kyle Graybeal, director in 1967, said that while every educational
organization in the church has a teaching mission, "the content of the
WMU is distinctive. The curriculum includes the missionary message of
the Bible, the progress of Christian missions, and contemporary
missions." 9 Ten years later, Mrs. Roy M. Purser, Jr. reiterated the
The purpose of WMU has remained unchanged since its
earliest beginnings in 1886. Our first responsibility is to teach
In her charge to officers at the Raleigh Association Annual Session
1984, Mrs. Rosalind Harrell, Missionary to Kenya, echoed the primary
I charge you to keep its purpose
at the heart of its activity . ..Much
of the world is still waiting to
hear the gospel. Be faithful in
teaching missions. 11
Mrs. Rosalind Harrell,
CHANGING PATTERNS FOR CHANGING TIMES 81
Among the WMU's organized during this time — Forest Hills Church
in 1945 and Carolina Pines Church and Stoney Hill Church in 1952 — their
missions intent was evident from the beginning. There were 32 present as
members and 2 as visitors at the Forest Hills Church organizational
meeting, and these, under the leadership of Mrs. E. F. Canady , their first
president, gave at that first meeting $32.25 for State Missions, "it being
the time for the State Mission Offering"! On the second anniversary of
Forest Hills Church, Mrs. L. Bun Olive, WMU vice-president, compared
the young organization to an obedient child. In the church bulletin were
For so young a child, WMU is learning to follow the rules very
well. In 1946 she had a mission study course each
quarter... each member reading a mission study book... such
behavior among the 3 of 69 churches in the Raleigh
Association, observing directions as to mission study.
Missionaries would emerge from this initial spirit of missions at Forest
Hills Church: Jane Ellis, a Missionary Associate to Japan, and Nancy
Hunter Hern, a home missionary, and a foreign missionary to Jordan,
Israel, and Lebanon, who has served with her husband Bill Hern.
At mid-century, there were several developments that furthered
The naming of a Mission Study Chairman, in 1950, whose responsi-
bility was to plan classes and to conduct Departmental and Mission Study
Institutes, strengthened mission education. Among those who served as
Mission Study Chairmen, or Directors of Mission Study, were Mrs. J. B.
Hipps, Mrs. Ottis Hagler, and Mrs. W. R. Grigg. In 1952, a new emphasis
on mission education, on the state level, gave further momentum.
Particularly in the seventies, there were several emphases that
focused on missions. The emphasis in 1974 was Mission Support, Mrs.
James R. Gates reporting that members were encouraged to support
missions by praying and going and giving, "in the atmosphere of the
church where persons can hear and heed God's calls." 12
TIME (Training in Missionary Education) in 1975, focused on
missions for all the organization but gave special attention "to the work of
Baptist Young Women in strengthening the teaching of missions for
future generations." Mrs. Purser, the Superintendent, wrote of the work:
These emphases have been promoted throughout the year
at leadership conferences, prayer retreats, mission studies,
and annual planning.
"This kind of planning," she continued, "has applied to WMU as a whole:
Baptist Women, Baptist Young Women, Acteens, and Girls in Action." 13
Mrs. Ronald Smith, Mrs. Kelley Powell, and Mrs. John Hagler — among
others — also provided leadership.
The Leadership Training Conference, in 1976, was a correlation of
TIME and TEMPO. More than 300 leaders and directors attended the
82/ AND GREATER WORKS
Then in 1977, the WMU emphasis was "Teach Missions — To Know,
To Grow"; and the Associational Council planned a number of activities
which reached all age levels.
In many of the newer churches, WMU's have continued to promote
special mission programs. Among these, in 1976-1977, Athens Drive
Church WMU began a United Night of Missions, which met one Sunday
night a month and included the Brotherhood and youth organizations.
This effort to involve the entire church in learning about missions
Changing times has taken the teaching of missions through many
barriers. Many of the societies reached out to the Internationals. Among
these, the WMU of Forest Hills Church helped to undergird a ministry to
internationals begun in the late 1970's by Nancy Hern, which is
continuing with language teaching to men, women, and children.
Considering it to be their greatest recent accomplishment, the Athens
Drive Church WMU has, since 1984, sponsored an International
Language Mission with 25 students and nine teachers.
As far back as 1946, Mission Study Institutes were held, for the
purpose of training Mission Study Leaders — this to the extent that the
Raleigh Association that year led the entire state in Mission Study
classes. Some years — 1966, 1967, 1968 — there were two Mission Study
Institutes. Most were taught by leaders of the Raleigh WMU, though
occasionally guest speakers conducted the sessions, as in 1971, when
Miss Sara Ann Hobbs, Executive Secretary of the North Carolina WMU,
was the speaker.
The officers planned together — the Mission Study Chairman, Steward-
ship Chairman, Prayer Chairman and Community Missions Chairman,
working with the Director. Their plans emphasized depth study, prayer,
community missions, and stewardship.
Teachers in all areas benefited from the institutes. The Mission
Study Institute at First Church, Raleigh, in 1956, directed by Mrs. Ottis
Hagler, shows this thorough aspect:
Mrs. Roy Farmer — the adult book
Mrs. Howard Cook — teaching of young people
Mrs. L. D. Holt — intermediate book
Miss Beatrice Adams — junior book
Mrs. Sherwood Jones — primary book
Miss Catherine Welborn — beginning book
The institute in 1958— with Mrs. H. O. Lanning, Mrs. J. B. Hipps,
Mrs. Robert Costner, Mrs. Douglas Aldrich, Mrs. James Tull, and Mrs.
R. C. Briggs serving as teachers — was helpful, as were the other
CHANGING PATTERNS FOR CHANGING TIMES/83
Among the far-reaching results of leadership training was an
increased interest in prayer retreats. One of the highlights of the year
1963 was the Prayer Retreat at Pullen Memorial Church, which Mrs.
William Pope, the Associational Prayer Chairman, conducted. In 1967
and 1968, the annual planning meetings were, appropriately, combined
with a Day of Prayer. Baptist Women, in 1979, observed a Day of Prayer
at First Church, Garner and at Longview Church. The Prayer Retreat
Workshop at Emmanuel Church, in 1981, had an attendance of more
than 100 at the morning and evening sessions, Mrs. Hope Christian
leading the participants in preparing a prayer retreat in their own
churches. Together, Baptist Women and Baptist Young Women spon-
sored a "How to Pray" Prayer Retreat in 1983, at Temple Church, with
William P. Clemmons of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
conducting the workshop. Miss Alma Hunt, former Executive Director of
WMU, SBC, conducted the Prayer Retreat at Hayes Barton Church in
1984. The Prayer Retreat for 1985, held at Meredith College, had as its
leader Miss Mary Herring, Bible teacher and lecturer, of Raleigh.
Mrs. F. O. Mixon, the Superintendent in 1946, wrote of another
purpose of WMU that is retraced throughout its history:
WMU seeks to lead its members, whether young or old, to
realize the goal: Every member giving every week to every
cause in proportion to her ability, through the church. 14
And, to this end, there were stewardship classes for the period 1945 to
1956, and beyond that time. Their number increased from 39 in 1947, to
96 in 1952, to 108 in 1953. Results show a dramatic increase in the number
In 1945, 399 tithers In 1952, 1585 tithers
In 1946, 496 tithers In 1953, 1709 tithers
In 1950, 930 tithers In 1954, 1733 tithers
The superintendents during these years — Mrs. Mixon, Mrs. Merritt,
Mrs. Page, Mrs. Holt — were justifiably pleased with the results. Miss
Provence, who reported to the 1954 Annual Session of the Association,
We have 253 mission study classes with 4,112 enrolled...
1,733 are dedicating themselves to tithing. The new tithers
for the year prove that we are growing in that spiritual virtue.
The teaching of books on stewardship and soul winning has
greatly contributed to the development of the missionary
attitude that we crave for every Christian.
84/ AND GREATER WORKS
Seven societies observed Stewardship Emphasis Weeks, according
to Mrs. Page, Superintendent in 1952. Mrs. L. D. Holt, Stewardship
Chairman in 1956, reported 14 organizations observing Stewardship
Night in their churches.
Whereas, back in 1888, giving to all missions was 7<P per member,
now in the eighties (1983) the gifts were $13.70 for missions causes.
Stewardship is greater works.
During the last 40 years, the WMU of the Raleigh Association has
continued to set goals. The leaders stated, worked for, and recognized
the achievements — of all kinds.
Of goal-setting, Mrs. F. O. Mixon, in 1945, said,
The goal of this association is a full-graded Woman's Mission-
ary Union in every church. Is it an impossible goal? We
believe it is not. 15
And, in 1985, of the 89 churches that make up the Raleigh Association, 82
have Woman's Missionary Unions.
Of the way goals have been met, Mrs. G. S. Pruden, in 1952,
This (the A-l grade of WMU of the Raleigh Association) was
made possible because back in the churches the women and
young people had a mind to work. 16
The "Standard of Excellence," adopted in 1911, and the amended
"Standard of Excellence" for the Association have served well as
incentives for carrying out a well-rounded program. In the past 40 years,
many societies have become full-graded; many have been designated,
annually, as Merit, Advanced, or Distinguished organizations. Note-
worthy is the WMU of First Church, Garner which has been a
Distinguished WMU for 17 consecutive years.
The women's achievement in First Church, Garner and in other
churches — unnamed — is "greater works."
It is no wonder that the Raleigh Association WMU has been
recognized as a Distinguished Association for at least 13 years, 1970-1976
Collective achievement also is greater works.
CHANGING PATTERNS FOR CHANGING TIMES/85
The One Hundredth Anniversary
The members of the WMU of the Raleigh Association, representing
a total enrollment of 6,142, were led to an awareness of the approaching
anniversary of their beginning. Mrs. T. L. Cashwell, Jr., director, at the
Annual Associational Meeting 1984, announced the Centennial Commit-
tee and plans for a One Hundred Year History, 1886-1986.
Subsequently, hearts were prepared by two visits of Dr. Dorothy
Sample, WMU President, Southern Baptist Convention. At the Associa-
tional meeting in the fall of 1983, at the First Church, Raleigh she spoke on
"Gifts," in historical perspective, citing the "gift" of Miss Heck's
dedication and the need for each member to use her own gifts, whether
great or small. Dr. Sample's visit in December 1984 to the Associational
Meeting at Hayes Barton Church was a focus on gifts for missions, to the
very same degree that the early societies responded to needs at home
Plans for the celebration have also included programed events for
March 1986 that show the continuum that has lasted for a century. Mrs.
Hope Christian, the Centennial Chairman, arranged a program that links
the past and the present.
For the members, looking at the past has pointed to "greater works"
in an attitude of prayer. In the words of Good Hope's (M) history,
It is our prayer that we, into future years and under future
leaders continue through the WMU and through it, the
church, to grow in missions and carry out the command of
our Lord and His Son to, Go ye into all the world.
J^Hlsior^j Xn CjchL's Time.
A HISTORY IN GOD'S TIME/89
A History, In God's Time
The members of the Woman's Missionary Union of the Raleigh
Association have wrought their One Hundred Year History. It is the
history of an organization from 1886 to 1986 — now an inheritance of faith,
prayer, sacrifice, works. It is a history, in God's Time.
For many, the Woman's Missionary Union, by its works in His name,
has made missions clear and compelling. Missionaries have gone out
from its ranks.
These works are now PROLOGUE. The history to be is of greater
To His disciples gathered about Him, Jesus said, Verily,
verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that
I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he
do because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)
90/ AND GREATER WORKS
Note to "They Deserve Our Remembering"
1. Kate C. Maddrey Crouch, The Magnificent Nobility, Edwards
and Broughton Company, p.3.
Notes to "In God's Time"
1. Fannie E. S. Heck, In Royal Service, Broadman Press, p. 47.
2. Ibid., p. 55.
3. Livingston Johnson, History of the North Carolina Baptist
State Convention, Edwards and Broughton Company, p. 94.
4. Heck, p. 117.
Notes to "The Time 1886-1900, All Things New"
1. Foy Johnson Farmer, Hitherto, Edwards and Broughton, pp. 8, 9.
2. Ibid., p. 34.
3. Biblical Recorder, January 6, 1909, p. 2.
4. Sesquicentennial First Baptist Church, Raleigh, North
Carolina, p. 37.
5. Farmer, pp. 57-58.
6. Minutes of the Eighty-fourth Annual Session, Raleigh Baptist
7. Farmer, p. 17.
8. Ibid., p. 17.
9. Johnson, p. 118.
10. Farmer, p. 18.
11. Minutes of the Ninety-second Annual Session, Raleigh Baptist
12. Minutes of the Ninetieth Annual Session of the Raleigh Baptist
Notes to "The Time 1901-1920, The Spirit of Progress"
1. Farmer, p. 6.
2. Biblical Recorder, December 4, 1907, p. 2.
3. Biblical Recorder, December 13, 1905, p. 5.
4. Biblical Recorder, October 7, 1914, p. 8.
5. Biblical Recorder, January 28, 1914, p. 10.
6. Biblical Recorder, January 14, 1914, p. 10.
7. Minutes of the Ninety-eighth Annual Session of the Raleigh
Baptist Association, 1903.
8. Minutes of the Ninety-seventh Annual Session of the Raleigh
Baptist Association, 1902.
9. Biblical Recorder, September 30, 1914, p. 10.
10. Biblical Recorder, February 18, 1914, p. 10.
11. Biblical Recorder, May 20, 1908, p. 8.
12. Farmer, p. 121.
Notes to "The Time 1921-1944, Strength Added to Strength"
1. Proceedings of Raleigh Baptist Association, 1925.
2. Minutes of the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Annual Session
of the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1939.
3. Minutes of the One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Annual Session of
the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1940.
4. Minutes of the Raleigh Baptist Association, for the years 1921,
1926, 1927, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941.
5. Minutes of the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Annual
Session of Raleigh Baptist Association, 1942.
6. Minutes of the OneHundred and Thirty-eighth Annual Session
of the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1943.
7. Raleigh Baptist Association of North Carolina, One Hundred
and Thirty-ninth Annual Session, 1944.
8. One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Annual Session of the Raleigh
Baptist Association, 1929.
9. Minutes of the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Annual Session
of the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1930.
10. Proceedings of the One Hundred and Twenty-first Annual
Session of the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1926.
11. Minutes of the Raleigh Baptist Association, One Hundred and
Twenty-first Annual Session, 1933.
12. Minutes of the One Hundred and Thirty-third Annual Session of
the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1938.
13. Minutes of the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Annual Session
of the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1930.
14. Proceedings of the One Hundred and Seventeenth Annual
Session of the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1922.
15. Minutes of the Raleigh Baptist Association, One Hundred and
Twenty-eighth Annual Session, 1933.
16. Minutes of the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Annual Session
of the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1943.
17. Proceedings of the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1925.
18. Raleigh Baptist Association, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth
Annual Session, 1944.
19. Raleigh Baptist Association of North Carolina, One Hundred
and Thirty-ninth Annual Session, 1944.
20. Minutes of the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Annual Session
of the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1943.
Notes to "The Time 1945-1986, Changing Patterns for Changing Times"
1. The Raleigh Baptist Association 1955 Annual.
2. The Raleigh Baptist Association 1952 Annual.
3. The Raleigh Baptist Association 1954 Annual.
4. The Raleigh Baptist Association 1950 Annual.
5. One Hundred and Forty-first Annual Session of the Raleigh
Baptist Association, 1946.
92/ AND GREATER WORKS
6. The Raleigh Baptist Association 1953 Annual.
7. The Raleigh Baptist Association 1966 Annual
8. 1973 Annual of the Raleigh Baptist Association.
9. The Raleigh Baptist Association 1967 Annual.
10. 1977 Annual of the Raleigh Baptist Association.
11. Letter from Mrs. Rosalind Harrell, Missionary to Kenya, to Mrs.
William J. Yost, May 17, 1984.
12. 1974 Annual of the Raleigh Baptist Association.
13. 1976 Annual of the Raleigh Baptist Asociation.
14. Minutes of the One Hundred and Forty-first Annual Session of
the Raleigh Baptist Association, 1946
15. One Hundred and Fortieth Annual Session, 1945.
16. The Raleigh Baptist Association 1952 Annual.
Crouch, Kate C. Maddrey. The Magnificent Nobility. Raleigh: Edwards
and Broughton Company, 1977.
Eaton, William Richard. History of the Raleigh Baptist Association 1805-
1955. Zebulon: Theo Davis Sons, 1955.
Farmer, Foy Johnson. Hitherto. Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton
Heck, Fannie E. S. In Royal Service. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1913.
Huggins, M. A. A History of North Carolina Baptists 1927-1932. Raleigh:
Edwards and Broughton Company, 1967.
James, Mrs. W. C. Fannie E. S. Heck. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1939.
Johnson, Livingston. History of the North Carolina Baptist State
Convention. Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Printing Company, 1908.
Sesquicentennial First Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Printing Company, 1962.
Interview, Rev. Charles L. McMillan, Director of Missions of the Raleigh
Baptist Association, with Mrs. William J. Yost, January 18, 1985.
Harrell, Rosalind, Missionary to Kenya, to Mrs. William J. Yost, May 17,
Minutes, The Raleigh Baptist Association, 1886-1985.
Biblical Recorder, 1888-1923.
WMU's of the Raleigh Baptist Association.
94/ AND GREATER WORKS
The Raleigh Association, 1979
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