Meeting the Challenges
of a Changing World
A Brief History of the Women’s Missionary Council
The official role of women in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, in furthering the mission of the church, began May 13, 1882, in Washington, DC; less than twelve years after the inception of the CME Church. At its origin, the church began to feel the vital impact women could have in its life and witness. Accordingly, local, district and annual conference missionary societies were organized to promote the cause of missions, education, and social outreach.
In 1910, a Board of Women’s work to support the cause of mission and address the needs of women and children was established. The Women’s Missionary Council (originally called the Women’s Connectional Missionary Society), uniting the work of women on a national level was organized in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1918. Its primary function was to support the Board of Mission of the CME Church and those departments responsible for expanding the church and supporting schools and colleges. The Women’s Missionary Council has been most supportive to CME Missions in Africa, Haiti and Jamaica.
It is fitting and proper that we recall the nobility of our heritage and honor those women who devoted their entire lives so that we might be able to stand today:
- Dr. Mattie E. Coleman (Organizer) 1918-1939
- Mrs. Rossie T. Hollis (Builder) 1939-1955
- Mrs. Eula W.F. Harris (Educator) 1955-1963
- Mrs. Phyllis H. Bedford (Ecumenist) 1963-1971
- Mrs. Pauline B. Grant (Innovator) 1971-1979
- Dr. Thelma J. Dudley (Leadership Trainer) 1979-1987
- Dr. Sylvia M. Faulk (Social Activist) 1987-1995
- Dr. Judith E. Grant (Technological Advancer) 1995-2003
- Dr. Elnora P. Hamb (Communicator & reconciler) 2003-2010
- Dr. Princess Pegeus 2010 - Present
There are 40 Regional Conferences, which include 32 in the United States and 8 in the Tenth Episcopal District in our Overseas Ministries, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Haiti and Jamaica. The membership is estimated to be over 280,000 missionary women, men, children and youth and adults engaged in service and outreach ministries around the world.
The Women’s Missionary Society
The responsibilities and duties of the Women’s Missionary Society consist of the following:
1. To discover the mission and unity of the Christian Church in Christ Jesus.
2. To make that mission and unity known at home and abroad.
3. To encourage cooperation, fellowship, and mutual counsel concerning the spiritual life and religious activities of the Christian Church.
4. To encourage the study of the Bible and to assist in spreading the Gospel.
5. To study the needs of society in order to aid in the development of programs, people, processes, and resources that will enable the Local Church Women’s Missionary Society to fulfill its mission. Such studies shall enable the Society to react cooperatively to the moral, ethical, and spiritual issues inherent in spreading the Gospel.
6. To work closely with private and public institutions and agencies in the fulfillment of common goals, insofar as such cooperation is consistent with the Constitution of the Women’s Missionary Council.
1918-1939 Dr. Mattie E. Coleman First President - Women's Missionary Council Known for organizing Women's Missionary Council. Native of Tennessee. Known physician and Missionary worker. Born in 1870, died in 1942. Graduate of Meharry Medical College. Married to R.J. Coleman, a CME minister in the Tennessee Conference. 1939-1955 Mrs. Rossie T. Hollis Second President Assisted Dr. Mattie E. Coleman with teaching responsibilities and was elected to succeed her in 1939. Native of Georgia. Known Missionary worker. Professor at Paine College. Known for expansion of churches. Generated funds for the erection of Missionary Temple in California. 1955-1963 Mrs. Eula W. Harris Third President Professor at Lane and Texas College. Born in Colorado City and later a resident of Texas. Affiliated with women's clubs, known for education and service. Life Membership Committee is named in honor of Mrs. E.W.F. Harris. 1963-1971 Mrs. Phyllis H. Bedford Fourth President Journalist by profession. Daughter of Methodist minister. Served as President of the Ohio Annual Conference Missionary Society. Was deeply involved in the Ecumenical movement. 1971-1979 Mrs. Pauline B. Grant Fifth President Native of Georgia and resided in Philadelphia. Deceased. Educator. Advocate for change and progress. Involved missionaries of all ages as the Missionary Council was expanded. Developed Division concept. Encouraged Women in ministry. Led and developed Project Assist - a program to help the elderly. 1979-1987 Dr. Thelma Vivian Jackson Dudley Sixth President Native of George but longtime resident of Orlando, Florida. Deceased. Educator and noted orator throughout the church. Continued the goals that former president initiated. Developed training and workshops on leadership. Encouraged women to join and associate with affiliate organizations. Obtained Doctorate of Education after tenure as President. 1987-1995 Dr. Sylvia M. Faulk Seventh President Native of California Educator and specialist in the Unified School District of Berkely, California. Advocate for the Missionary at the local level. Coined phrase, "If it does not happen at the local level, it does not happen." Emphasized the importance of Young Adults as active Missionary members. Stressed the importance of obtaining an education. Interested in affiliate organizations, and served as Area President of the World Federation of Uniting and Church Women. Celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Women's Missionary Council. Purchased marker for Dr. Mattie E. Coleman, the first President of the Women's Missionary Council. 1995-2003 Dr. Judith E. Grant Eighth President Native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Specialized in Nutrition Education and Administration prior to her election. Interest is in all Missionaries at all levels - especially children, and members of the "Senior Class." Primary focus is overseas missions. First Council President to visit Africa. Strong advocate for associating and participating in affiliate organizations. Raised the consciousness of the computer-generated age. Council celebrated 80 years of service and dedication under her leadership in 1998. 2003-Present Dr. Elnora Hamb Ninth President Native of Ripley, Tennessee. Currently a resident of Chicago, Illinois. Married to Raymond N. Hamb, Sr. Mother of Raymond Jr. and Angela F. Hamb. Grandmother to Shelbi, Carlton and Raymond III. An active leader of the Connectional Church in many areas, including the Women's Missionary Council. Past President of Women's Missionary Society at the local and Annual Conference level. Professional educator with the Chicago Board of Education. B.S. Degree, Lane College; Master of Librarianship, Chicago State University; Additional studies at Nova University. Honorary Doctorate Degree, Texas College.
The Misssionary Circles of the Temple
Mrs. Saundra Roberson
Shreveport District President
Mrs. Diane Atkins
Louisiana Region President
Dr. Elnora Hamb,
Women's Missionary Council President
Shreveport District Officers
Vice-President............................ Theola Davis
Secretary.............................. Glenda Simpson
Assistant Secretary.................. Gretchen Green
Treasurer.................................... Pearl Mixon
Department Secretaries & Chairpersons
Rossie T. Hollis..................... Shamona Moore
Mattie E. Coleman......................... Shayla Hall
Phyllis H. Bedford............... Cassandra English
Organization/Promotion.............. Heddy Adger
Spirtual Life & Message....... Yvonnie Newsome
Status of Women......................... Jessie Stitch
Fine Arts.................................. Florien Aikens
Literature & Publication................. Pearl Mixon
Christian Social Relations............ Vernona Barr
American Bible Society........... Glossie Bradford
Missionary Education............... Jessie F. Moore
Overseas Mission.......................... Nellie Davis
Hunger Meals for Millions.......... Mary Bradford
Willie Mae Smith
District Missionary Calendar 2007-2008
24th -WMC Founder’s Day
30th – District Fellowship – Charity Chapel CME
3 :00 p.m.
Providence House–Carolina Bluff/Laymen’s Temple
7th – District Youth Evening Worship
Rossie T. Hollis and Mattie E. Coleman Departments
in Charge of Services
Williams Memorial CME Temple - 6:00 p.m.
13th – District Youth Rally / St. Luke CME
Missionary Meeting/Sewing Project for Northwest Development Center
Providence House-Washington Temple
3rd - First Reporting Meeting for LA Region WMS
St. Mary CME / Bastrop, LA @ 10:00 a.m.
Reports Due from each District:
World Federation of Methodist/United Women
Save Our Sons
Helena B. Cobb
Over Seas Mission
11th - Hunger Sunday Celebration / Bread for the World (Local Churches)
17th – Helena B. Cobb Scholarship Tea /Style Show
St. Luke – 4:00 p.m.
$6.00 per ticket
17th - Thanksgiving Baskets for Families
Providence House-Lane Chapel
3rd - Compilations Reports Due to Region President
9th - Shreveport District Women’s Missionary Society Candle Light March ($10.00 per marcher)
Washington Temple - 5:00 p.m.
(Each Missionary Dept needs to be represented
and report assessments.)
9th - LA Missionary Society Scholarship Fund Day
15th - Compilations Reports
due to Compilation Chair
30th – District Fellowship / Lane Chapel
Providence House-Williams Memorial
13th - Helena B. Cobb Scholarship Day
Providence House-St. Luke
25th —March 1st – Women’s Missionary Council Executive Board -Jacksonville, Florida
(Each local society is asked to donate arts and
handicraft items for the meeting.)
Providence House-Wesley Chapel
8th - Taste of District/Salad Feast
$6.00 per ticket
Williams Memorial CME Temple - 10:00 a.m.
15th – LA Region Missionary Program/Talent Show TBA
29th – LA Region Missionary Fest & Extravaganza
Rossie T. Hollis
Mattie E. Coleman
Phyllis H. Bedford
Williams Memorial CME Temple
Shreveport, LA Tickets -TBA
30th – District Fellowship / Carolina Bluff – 3:00 p.m.
Providence House-Ministers’ Spouses
5th -Prince & Princess Pageant - 4:00 p.m.
Mays Chapel / Ruston, LA
Providence House-New Hill/East Mission
17th - Shreveport District Financial Reporting Day
Washington Temple CME
Providence House-Mattie Coleman/Phyllis Bedford
2nd – 6th - Leadership Training School
& Missionary Institute
Lewis Temple CME /Grambling, LA
29th – District Fellowship / Washington Temple
13th –16th - Louisiana Annual Conference
Shreveport, LA / Place: TBA
15th – Missionary Prayer Breakfast
(Shreveport District in Charge)
& Lena Jones Rice March