WMU board grants intentional interim exec more authority

DALLAS—The Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas board of directors in the closing business session of its two-day meeting, June 16-17 in Dallas, took substantive steps to strengthen the intentional interim executive director-treasurer’s hand in dealing with staff.

One day after the board learned its executive committee had hired Nelda Seal, former Louisiana WMU executive director, for the intentional interim post, its members introduced a bylaws revision that would give the chief executive authority to hire, fire and supervise all personnel.

Currently, bylaws state the executive director-treasurer holds that authority only over personnel not elected by the board. In essence, the executive can hire and fire support staff but not program staff.

As an amendment to the bylaws, the provision must be introduced 30 days prior to a vote. Board members will receive a mail or e-mail ballot 30 days after the meeting.

The board also approved a recommendation from its personnel committee that after the interim executive director-treasurer talks individually with each staff member and reviews job descriptions, she is authorized “to evaluate and restructure the staff as may be deemed necessary and appropriate.”

After her abrupt dismissal in May by the board’s executive committee, Interim Executive Director-Treasurer Nina Pinkston publicly acknowledged deep division within the Texas WMU staff.

In executive session, the board also developed a public statement and a similarly worded letter that will be mailed to all Texas Baptist pastors and WMU directors.

“Recently, the board of directors of WMU of Texas met in Dallas for its regular summer meeting and board training. In recent days, its foundation has been shaken,” the statement said.

“One board member stated, ‘We came confused and left united.’ As a result of training given by Dr. Gaynor Yancey (of Baylor University), the board clarified its roles and responsibilities. The first step taken was the hiring of an intentional interim executive director-treasurer, Nelda Seal, a former executive director of Louisiana WMU for 15 years.

“WMU of Texas has moved forward on its firm foundation of reaching, teaching (and) discipling Texas and the world.”

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