Tolliver enjoys rich WMU visit
By Allen Palmeri
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The missions education presentation of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) at its headquarters Dec. 2-3 to Southern Baptist executive directors and editors made a positive impression on Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Interim Executive Director David Tolliver.
It has been five years since an MBC leader visited the national WMU building, which is the place where the two major missions offerings in Southern Baptist life—named for Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong—are both anchored and launched every Christmas and Easter season.
Tolliver said the 120-year-old WMU has played “a major and strategic role” in promoting Lottie and Annie down through the years, as well as the Cooperative Program.
“There’s a rich heritage of missions promotion involvement and passion for missions from the ladies of the WMU,” he said. “I’m glad we have that. I’m glad we’re able to affirm that. I’m glad that I’ve been able to see that.
“I didn’t know that there is a Missouri Room in the building. So I’m glad I learned that. That’s great to see that our Missouri WMU is very much a part of what’s going on there in Birmingham.”
WMU Executive Director Wanda Lee told the assembled leaders that the organization is learning how to partner better with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the International Mission Board (IMB) to achieve its goal of being radically involved in the mission of God. Tolliver said that seemed to make sense to him.
“I do think that they’re working well with NAMB and with IMB,” he said. “And I think they also recognize that that’s their major source. That’s who’s doing missions. Their job is missions education and promotion, so they’re promoting at NAMB and IMB.”
In summation, Tolliver said he came away from the meeting with a couple of application points that he plans to share with MBC staffers. He said he feels that Missouri WMU is positioned right where it ought to be in terms of gleaning from national WMU and making it work in Missouri.
“I have absolutely no complaints about what we’re doing currently,” he said. “I think we’re doing a good job of promoting WMU, and we want to keep doing that.”
Vivian McCaughan, MBC WMU / Women’s Missions & Ministry specialist, said she is grateful that Missouri WMU finds strength and validity as part of the MBC.