news from master's Men and WNAC
Master's Men has organized men's ministry for the National Association of Free Will Baptists since 1955. Women Nationally Active for Christ (WNAC), an auxiliary arm of the denomination, has coordinated the collaborative efforts of Free Will Baptist women since 1934.
DRT Update From Master’s Men Director Ken Akers
In the spring of 2005, I was asked if Master’s Men or the denomination had a plan to help churches and individuals following a natural disaster. When I replied no, the answer disappointed me. I felt impressed that Free Will Baptists needed a disaster response team, and that Master’s Men should take the lead. Little did I know that only a few months later, such a team would be put to the test.
In August, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast with such force that it devastated millions of people. Because we had seen the need, with God’s help, we were prepared to offer aid. We had purchased a large truck with a work bed, and several churches and individuals made donations to equip the truck.
It took some time before things on the Gulf Coast settled down enough to allow us to join recovery efforts. Law enforcement and the National Guard prevented people from entering the area until after the search for bodies had been completed. In the meantime, we started recruiting volunteers to go. On the first day, more than 50 people gathered at Gulf Coast Free Will Baptist Church to help. While the church needed much work, we had enough help to reach out to the entire community.
More than six years later, Master’s Men and the Disaster Relief Team continue to help when needed. In 2011 alone, we assisted with relief efforts and monetary gifts in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri. We have also taken our relief work international as a team of workers volunteered in Haiti following the earthquake of 2010.
Today, we have three trailers and two trucks for use in disaster relief. We have also been able to assist several states purchase trailers and equipment for state disaster relief efforts, and we are working with other states to help them prepare for disaster.
Currently, we are preparing cleaning kits to be stored and used as needed. Information about the project can be found on the Master's Men website (www.fwbmastersmen.org) if you would like to help supply the contents of the kits.
WNAC Executive Committee Revises Standards
NASHVILLE, TN—“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” This theme from Ephesians 4:3 provided the backdrop for the WNAC Executive Committee semiannual meeting November 10-12, 2011, at Courtyard by Marriott in Nashville, Tennessee. In their first retreat-style board meeting, the committee packed reports, business, brainstorming, vision casting, and learning into every possible minute of time together.
Executive Director Elizabeth Hodges cited in her report to the committee that she has personally visited 12 of WNAC’s 22 reporting states, meeting with women and sharing results of their giving and praying over the years. The committee reviewed Provision Closet distributions, as well as cards and letters of thanks from missionaries, missionary kids, and retired missionaries who have benefitted from WNAC ministries. Financial reports revealed tight funds, with a staff committed to doing as much as possible with available resources: Free Will Baptist women must provide for the needs of the office as WNAC does not receive regular Together Way funding except monies designated for WNAC.
One highlight of the weekend involved a morning-long presentation by a consulting firm. Consultants conducted an extensive survey among WAC state leaders, compiled results, and shared their findings with the committee. Leaders expressed opinions on everything from their perception of the purpose of WNAC to their views on WNAC literature and topics to address at retreats and national conventions. The committee listened then prayed for wisdom to act upon the survey results, asking God to help lead the organization on the path that would meet needs and honor Him.
The committee also completed an examination and revision of the constitution and by-laws, as requested by the 2009 WNAC Convention. This labor-intensive project consumed a major portion of the committee’s time as they examined documents line-by-line, revised and updated wording to reflect current language and policies, and organized document structure for greater clarity. The proposed constitution will be sent to WAC state leaders for circulation among members in their states. This will enable women to read, ponder, and prepare to vote knowledgably at the 2012 WNAC Convention, July 17, in Memphis, Tennessee.
With survey results in mind, the committee planned the upcoming convention. Maintaining the one-day format—popular with women last year—delegates will conduct business, worship together, hear missionary speakers, and choose from seminars dealing with finances/time management, depression, and parenting. Afternoon options include a brainstorming session or time for sharing and discussing results of the survey.
Members of the WNAC Executive Committee dedicate themselves to hearing the women of our denomination and responding by implementing ideas presented, answering questions, and providing opportunities for women to serve. WNAC extends an invitation for all women to join as co-laborers, each filling her God-designed role in the Great Commission.