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Marjorie McCullough, 81, dies; WMU president from 1986-91

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–Marjorie Jones McCullough, president of Woman’s Missionary Union from 1986-91, died March 18 in Corpus Christi, Texas, following a lengthy illness. She was 81.

“Marjorie was an outstanding, strong leader who was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the future of WMU,” Wanda S. Lee, WMU executive director-treasurer, said. “As a former missionary, state WMU president and national WMU’s GA director, she brought a great depth of experience and knowledge to the office of national WMU president.”

Born in Louisiana in 1924, McCullough grew up to have a heart for missions while participating in WMU children’s organizations.

After graduating from Louisiana College in Pineville and earning a master’s degree in religious education at the former WMU Training School in Louisville, Ky., she worked in both the Kentucky and Louisiana WMU offices. In 1955, she followed God’s leading to the mission field and served in Nigeria through the SBC’s then-Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board). After six months of language study there, she served seven years as Ghana’s first WMU director.

In 1964, Alma Hunt, then-WMU executive secretary, invited McCullough to join the WMU’s national staff in Birmingham, Ala., as the general director of Girls’ Auxiliary. In that role, she helped to create and name Acteens and Girls in Action (previously Girls’ Auxiliary) organizations and wrote the manual and handbook for Acteens.

In 1969, McCullough returned to the mission field and served in Brazil under appointment of the Foreign Mission Board once again. After five years of missionary work in Brazil, she attended the 1973 WMU Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore., while on furlough, where she reconnected with an old friend, Glendon McCullough, executive secretary of the SBC’s Brotherhood Commission.

McCullough, a widower and father of four, and she were married in 1974 in the Georgia Governor’s mansion where Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, longtime friends of the couple, and the four McCullough children were witnesses.

After four short years of marriage, a tragic automobile accident in 1978 took Glendon McCullough’s life. At their request, Marjorie McCullough later adopted all four children and saw them through college and marriage.

In 1980 she was elected president of Tennessee WMU.

McCullough once said, “The challenge of missions is always exciting. When you see souls won and know you had a part in it, whether it was through your offerings, your prayertime, your interest in the person, or whether you actually led the person to Christ, this is very exciting.”

Her enthusiasm and missions legacy lives on through her family, the work of WMU, and beyond.

McCullough was preceded in death by her son, Ken McCullough. She is survived by three daughters, Beth Gaddie of Corpus Christi, Texas; Kathy Kent of Millington, Tenn.; and Debbie Miller of Houston; and nine grandchildren.

A funeral service was held March 25 at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria, La.

Memorials may be sent to Recreation Ministry, c/o First Baptist Church, 3115 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78404.