“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard”
WMU® offers organizations and approaches, as well as ministries, that enable every member of the church to learn about missions, become involved in missions, and live a missional lifestyle. WMU offers many opportunities to fulfill the six objectives of WMU that are at the heart of missions education.
Even though New Friendship began in 1835, a WMU organization did not organize until 80 years later. Women’s Mission organizations are based upon the Great Commission and have heritage of leading people to do their part to full fill the Great Commission.
Through the years many stories have emerged about the women and their action to meet the needs of people. We have been told of ladies walking up and down Chatata Valley to come to the church for their mission meetings. They sold their butter and eggs and gave the money to support the missionaries as they prayed for them. Since the histories of Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong related their train trips to Chattanooga to speak, it is wondered, if some of the our ladies heard these pioneering ladies speak.
The NFBC Women’s Missionary Society began in 1920. Members paid 10 cents a month. The 1935 minutes show that the church gave $65.09 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and $11.00 to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. There was also an offering to the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home. In 1970, the name was changed to Women’s Missionary Union.
In an article about Sunday in the Valley, Elizabeth Manely wrote that they kept up with the denominational programs, observed home and foreign mission days with playlets, speeches, and songs and collected food for the orphanage. Of particular interest to Mrs. Manely was the minutes on Nov. 30, 1937. John W. Cate used his car to gather up the offering of clothes and food for the Tennessee Baptist Orphan’s Home. It was reported that our church had the largest offering of any brought.
A continued legacy
Many of our mission activities are church-wide projects. One of particular emphasis is the church-wide seasons of prayer and offerings for missions. Throughout the years, we have received numerous recognition certificates for our participation in these offerings. In 2015 during the Season of Prayer and Giving for International Missions, we received the largest offering to date for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering totaling $12,500.00.
Those before us have left a strong legacy for those to follow. Through our organizations of Women on Mission, Acteens, Challengers, Children in Action and Mission Friends, we pray that the legacy will continue.
Coordinator: Dianne Sanders