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Davis, new BWA women’s leader, has worked in Venezuela since ’7

DURBAN, South Africa (BP)–Patsy Davis, the new executive director of the Baptist World Alliance women’s department, is a Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionary currently serving as general secretary of the National Woman’s Missionary Union of Venezuela.
Davis, 50, succeeds Willene Pierce, who resigned the BWA post in July 1997 and now leads Native American LINK (Living in Neighborly Kindness) based in Muskogee, Okla.
Announcement of Davis’ selection as BWA women’s department executive director was carried in a report from the BWA General Council annual meeting July 5-11 in Durban, South Africa. No details were reported about her selection. The BWA women’s department president is Mercy Rao, an educator of more than 30 years from Vishakapatnam, India.
Davis, of Startown, N.C., was appointed as a Southern Baptist missionary in 1977 and has worked in Venezuela throughout her career.
Prior to her IMB work, Davis was director of the child development center at Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta. Earlier, she worked as a youth promotional director for WMU of Maryland/Delaware in the Maryland areas of Lutherville-Timonium and, as a summer missionary with the then-Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board, she was a counselor and recreation director at a Girls in Action summer camp in North Carolina.
Davis is a graduate of Mars Hill (N.C.) College who holds a master of religious education degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
Pierce led the BWA women’s department from 1995-97 in a tenure characterized by an emphasis on women-to-women projects for evangelism and ministry. Pierce had served as executive director of the Woman’s Missionary Union of Maryland/Delaware from 1982-95 and was director of Baptist Women and Baptist Young Women for Arkansas WMU from 1975-82.
Pierce and the BWA women’s department, when they parted ways in July 1997, issued a joint statement saying her resignation resulted from “differing perspectives regarding ministry philosophy and leadership style.” Giving no further explanation of what some observers described as a forced resignation, the statement said, “Any further comment regarding the nature and substance of these differences would disserve the women’s department ministry, the individuals involved and the cause of Christ.”
The statement concluded: “The executive committee is thankful for the contribution Miss Pierce has rendered the BWA women’s department. Both the executive committee and Miss Pierce remain committed to the ongoing ministry of the BWA women’s department and we will mutually pursue a transition that will honor God.”