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WMU names Acteens panelists

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–Woman’s Missionary Union has chosen six National Acteens Panelists based on their commitment and involvement in missions and Acteens, along with their leadership and involvement in their school, community and church.

Acteens is the WMU missions organization for teenage girls in grades 7–12.

The 2008 Acteens panelists are: Gretchen Allie of University Hills Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C.; Kailee Barfield of First Baptist Church, Fort Mill, S.C.; Paige Baker of First Baptist Church, Humble, Texas; Kristi Damon of First Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas; Rachel Krome of Brown Deer Baptist Church, Oostburg, Wis.; and Amanda-Grace Richey of Burks Branch Baptist Church, Smithfield, Ky.

“Recognizing outstanding Acteens is one way we help foster young, emerging leaders for the future as missions advocates and leaders of WMU,” said Wanda S. Lee, WMU executive director-treasurer. “As they move into their college years, we see many of them apply for WMU internships and scholarships while they continue to seek God’s call in their lives related to missions. The Acteens panelists are always a shining example of the high quality of Christian youth in our churches today.”

Suzanne Reece, ministry consultant for national WMU’s student resource team, said this year’s applications not only affirmed that Acteens is alive and well in many churches, but involvement in the organization continues to radically change and shape the lives of teenage girls.

“One look at the 2008 National Acteens Panelists will encourage all of us that teenage girls are serious about their relationship with God and they are committed to being involved in His work in the world,” Reece said. “Each panelist has an enormous amount of missions involvement in her own community and in other countries. These students are not the kind to wait for someone to tell them what mission project is next; they are the ones who actively seek ways to minister to others and then bring their friends and fellow Acteens along.”

The 2008 National Acteens Panelists each receive a $1,000 Jessica Powell Loftis Scholarship for Acteens from the WMU Foundation.

A highlight of their service will be participating in the annual WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in Indianapolis prior to the Southern Baptist Convention in June.

They also will have the opportunity to interact with missionaries and national leaders involved in missions and may be requested to speak to church, associational and/or state Acteens and WMU groups.

Throughout the year, they will write articles for The Mag, the missions magazine for Acteens, and for the Acteens website, www.acteens.com. And thjey will provide input as a focus group to help shape the future direction of Acteens.

WMU also recognizes additional Acteens each year as National Top Teens for their strong involvement in missions. The following have been selected for 2008: Sierra Bollinger, Kati Miinch and Larissa Petzoldt, all of First Baptist Church, Jackson, Mo.; Kayla Gehman of First Baptist Church, Alabaster, Ala.; Katie Hildabrand of Post Oak Baptist Church, Russellville, Ky.; and Emily Beth Leathers of First Baptist Church, Durant, Miss.

Applications for the 2009 National Acteens Panel are due to WMU headquarters by Dec. 1. Applications will be available on the Acteens website at www.acteens.com and in the fall issue of Acteens Leader.
Julie Walters is a communications specialist with Woman’s Missionary Union. For more information about Acteens, visit www.acteens.com.