All disciples or believers are called and charged with this mission; It involves the entire church. Therefore, the Woman’s Baptist Home and Foreign Missionary Convention is a part of the visible church involved in the call to mission and also becomes a missionary through its constituency—baptized believers of Christ.
In the year 1884, some North Carolina Missionary Baptist women felt the call to mission and responded by banding themselves together under the leadership of the late Reverend Dr. Henry Martin Tupper (himself an American Baptist Missionary, founder, and first president of Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina), and formed this convention. In 1946, this convention assumed the position of Auxiliary to the General Baptist State Convention. Among some founders was Mrs. N.F. Roberts, Mrs. Hattie E. Shepard, Miss Helen Jackson, Mrs. Sallie A. Mial, and Mrs. B.E. Green. (For a history of the convention, see History of the Woman’s Baptist Home and Foreign Missionary Convention of North Carolina, and One Hundred Years of Continuous Service.)
These saintly and dedicated women, along with other noblewomen of the past, extended their hands far and near through missions, and it is now that Baptist women, having received this great and Godly legacy, must add to the gift and keep the torch lighted by involving themselves in Christ’s mission through missions. The convention exists to organize and improve participation in local churches’ missionary circles by inspiring fellowship, spiritual growth, and unity in purpose.
Since its beginning, the Woman’s Baptist Home and Foreign Missionary Convention’s grown tremendously. Very early in the organizational plan, the leaders saw the need to educate the children in the churches in Christian and missionary education. Therefore, the Junior Department organized in 1924. As this department grew with many children of different ages, they changed the name to Junior-Young People’s Department. By the 1960s, it had involved teenagers in larger numbers. It was then that the leaders changed the name to Youth Department in 1971. The Youth Department has served as an ever-growing asset to the work of the convention.
In 1964, the Convention took another visionary step that proved to be progressive. They organized the Young Adult Department for those ages 21 through 35 to bridge the gap between the existing seniors and youth. This department of talented and spiritual young adults has made a deep impact on the churches’ activities around the state, and the Woman’s Convention has profited by this dynamic move.
We have trained many young persons and young adults through the Woman’s Convention, and many are making significant contributions in missionary and Christian Education.