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S.C. woman elected WMU president

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–Debby Akerman of Myrtle Beach, S.C., has been elected president of national WMU.

Akerman was elected unanimously to the five-year term by members of the organization during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting June 14 in Orlando, Fla. She is a member of Ocean View Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach.

A native of Massachusetts, Akerman has been involved in WMU on local, associational, state and national levels. She was vice president of national WMU from 1993-97.

In 2007, she received the Dellanna West O’Brien Award for Women’s Leadership Development, an annual award given to a Baptist woman who demonstrates the ability to foster leadership in women.

In the church, Akerman has led Girls in Action (GA) organizations since 1982 and served as church WMU director over the years. Additional involvement in GA includes serving as associational GA consultant in the New Hampshire Baptist Association and Waccamaw (Georgia) Baptist Association, GA specialist for South Carolina WMU since 2002; South Carolina GA camp consultant and camp nurse since 2001; and South Carolina WMU board member from 2003-07.

Akerman also has served as WMU president and recording secretary for the Baptist Convention of New England.

In their community, Akerman and her husband Brad share a ministry leading Bible studies at Street Reach, a mission in Myrtle Beach that ministers to the homeless and those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. In addition, she frequently participates and leads in domestic and international mission trips, including recent ones to Lynch, Ky., Mexico and India.

A graduate of New England Baptist School of Nursing in Boston, Akerman ministered to others through a 30-year career in nursing. She will succeed Kaye Miller, also a registered nurse, who has served as president of national WMU since 2005.

The Akermans have one daughter and two grandchildren.
Julie Walters is Woman’s Missionary Union’s communications specialist.