THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MINISTERS’ WIVES AND MINISTERS’ WIDOWS, INCORPORATE
A leader sees three things: what ought to be done, what can be done, and how to do it. Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Muriel Lemon Johnson, the fourth president of IAMWMW, the regional concept was introduced at the June 1983 conference. In a quest to reach out to ministers’ wives and ministers’ widows who had not attended an international conference, each region would have a mini, one day conference, patterned after the international conference format. Fellowship with other ministers’ wives and ministers’ widows across the region was paramount. As a result, our IAMWMW sisterhood would experience continued growth. Thank God for the insight of Dr. Muriel Lemon Johnson, for indeed the anticipated outcome of regional conferences has been achieved.
The Northeast Region under the superb leadership of Dr. Mary Gordon of Virginia held its first Regional Conference on April 14, 1984 at the Faith Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. 119 sisters of eight denominations came from the states of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, to share in this one-day conference. The new state body of Massachusetts, Mrs. Ethel Robinson, president, was welcomed to our fellowship. The theme for the conference was “Building a Sisterhood through Sharing.” There were 42 sisters present who had never attended an international conference.
Thus, the beginning of the Northeast Region of IAMWMW. Nine dynamic, energized and visionary sisters have provided exemplary leadership to the region. They are: Dr. Mary Gordon West, VA, Mrs. Lee Anna Wilson, NJ, Dr. Odessa Perry, CT, Mrs. Margaret W. Goodman, NJ, Mrs. Ethel M. Robinson, MA, Dr. Margaret B. Payton, VA, Dr. Thelma P. Rich, MD, and Mrs. Jannie Daniels, PA. The region has experienced continued growth and has provided quality leadership to our International Association in many capacities from Presidents, Deans of Education, Secretaries, Financial officers, committee and board chairs, teachers, and many, many other capacities. To God be the Glory!
Mary Gordon, Virginia 1983 - 1984
Lee Anna Wilson, New Jersey 1984 - 1986
Odessa Perry, Connecticut 1986-1990
Margaret Goodman, New Jersey 1990 - 1994
Ethel M. Robinson, Massachusetts 1994 - 1998
Margaret B. Payton, Virginia 1998-2002
Thelma Rich, Maryland 2002 - 2006
Jannie M. Daniels, Pennsylvania 2006 – 2010
Carolyn L. Bledsoe, Virginia 2010 - present
As we continue to celebrate God’s favor, we press onward to greater heights following the dream of our founder, Elizabeth Coles Bouey, to build a sisterhood of ministers’ wives and ministers’ widows with the tenets of faith, love, and prayer. We know that unless we try to do something beyond what we have already mastered, we will never grow. The Northeast Region –Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, will continue to stretch forth our arms of love to our sisters in the Northeast Region. “Bind us together, Lord, Bind Us Together with chords that cannot be broken. Bind us together in love.”
Originally Compiled by: Dr. Margaret Brown Payton and Dr. Mary Gordon West