GROVE CITY, Ohio – Linda Cooper made history today when she became the first Kentucky Baptist to be elected president of the national Woman’s Missionary Union.
“We are Kentucky proud of Linda’s election,” said Joy Bolton, Kentucky WMU executive director.
Cooper, a member of Forest Park Baptist Church in Bowling Green, was presented as the organization’s new president during the WMU Missions Celebration in Grove City, Ohio. She could be re-elected annually for up to five years.
“Linda brings a wealth of WMU knowledge and experience to this new role,” Bolton said. “We know her as a wonderful speaker, effective leader, and one who leads by example.”
Cooper was nominated as president of the world’s largest Protestant women’s organization after serving one year as national WMU recording secretary. She was only the second Kentuckian to hold the position. The first was Carolyn Ellis, of Shelbyville, who served as national WMU recording secretary from 1975 to 1981.
Bolton described Cooper as a capable communicator and popular speaker among the nearly 2,400 churches affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, a gift she demonstrated while serving as the 38th president of Kentucky WMU from 2010-2014.
Cooper’s passion for sharing the gospel has taken her to mission fields in Indonesia, Jamaica, South Africa, South Korea and Tanzania. In 2011, she was part of a Kentucky WMU team that ministered in Puerto Rico.
National WMU recognized two other Kentucky Baptists during its annual convention June 14–15 at First Baptist Church of Grove City.
Arlene Miller, of New Palestine Baptist Church in Crofton, received the Dellanna West O’Brien Award for Women’s Leadership Development for her ministry to women in Christian County.
“Arlene exemplifies absolute dedication to ministry and helping women spiritually and with practical life issues,” Bolton said.
Miller is the director of Impact Ministry and Christian Women’s Job Corps in Hopkinsville, two ministries housed in the same building that seek to provide women with the necessities of food and clothing, along with life skills and spiritual development.
Bolton described Miller as a role model to those she serves and an encourager to those she serves beside.
“It’s always exciting to read the reports of what is happening through Impact Ministry and CWJC,” Bolton said.
Both ministries have received grants from the Eliza Broadus Offering, Kentucky WMU’s state missions offering.
In addition to her work with women’s ministries through the Christian County Baptist Association, Miller serves as her church WMU director and, for the past 27 years, Acteens leader.
Hydiatu Konneh, a member of Fern Creek Baptist Church in Louisville, received WMU honors Sunday when she was selected to serve on the National Acteens Panel.
“She provides a unique and loving prospective of what it means to be a Christian young woman in today’s world,” said Becky Frizzell, Acteens leader at Fern Creek Baptist.
Konneh, a high school junior, said her experiences with Acteens has ignited a passion to become a full-time missionary.