LOUISVILLE–Joy Bolton, executive director-treasurer for Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union since Sept. 1, 1999, announced her intent to retire to the Kentucky WMU Executive Board at their October meeting.
In sharing her decision, Bolton said,” When I came to Kentucky WMU 18 years ago, I came with the support of Lee Bolton (her husband) who promised when he proposed that if the opportunity came for me to do WMU work as a career, he would go with me. And so he did, when the opportunity came to join the South Carolina WMU staff in 1995 and again in 1999 when we came to Kentucky.”
“Now it is time for me to honor his request to retire,” Bolton explained, citing some of her husband’s health concerns as well as his desire for her to “slow-down” as contributing factors in the decision. Lee Bolton is the former pastor of Clayvillage Baptist Church in Shelbyville.
Susan Bryant, Kentucky WMU president who will be naming a search committee, said,” Kentucky WMU was strong when Joy took over the reins in September 1999. In the ensuing 18 years she has worked to make it stronger.”
Bryant continued, “Joy is not only a mentor and a great co-laborer, but I also count her as a friend. I appreciate the years she has given to Kentucky WMU. We will never be able to replace Joy as executive director/treasurer, but in God’s timing we will welcome a new ED/T who will benefit from the years of devotion Joy has given in service to Kentucky.”
Bolton plans to retire no earlier than Sept. 1, 2018, but no later than Sept. 1, 2019. “I am committed to a smooth transition and will stay as needed to work with the next executive director,” she said.
She hopes to make the transition in much the same manner as National WMU Executive Director Wanda Lee did, staying to work alongside and offer support to her replacement, Sandy Wisdom-Martin, she said.
Bolton came to Kentucky in 1999 under former Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Bill Mackey, and together, they forged a strong relationship between the KBC and Kentucky WMU.
In her time at Kentucky WMU, the organization exceeded its Eliza Broadus Offering goal many times and the Heritage Fund increased by almost half a million dollars. Additionally, she has been on 15 mission trips representing Kentucky WMU, started her blog, “Discover the Joy of Missions,” and has overseen numerous other WMU projects.
“Under Joy’s leadership, Kentucky WMU is nationally recognized as a preeminent facilitator of missions involvement,” Bryant added. “She is well respected and frequently called upon for her expertise and experience in missions education.”
“Joy Bolton serves with humility and compassion and desires to honor God with her life,” said National WMU President Linda Cooper, of Bowling Green. “What really excites me about Joy Bolton is the fact that she not only loves the work of WMU and what it represents, but most of all, she loves the Lord and desires to share His love with everyone He puts in her path … until the whole world knows.”
Cooper continued, “Leadership to Joy Bolton has not been about a title or position. It has been about one life influencing another, and she sure has influenced mine. We have been beyond blessed to have Joy at the helm of Kentucky WMU as executive director.”
After her official retirement, she and her husband plan to move to South Carolina to be near their son and his family.
In closing her announcement, Bolton said, “I love you all, love Kentucky WMU and the KBC. I have been blessed to serve with you and am also committed to work hard to my very last day. I will not coast this year. I have a long list of things to be done before I retire.” (WR)