By Bill Webb
A woman active in Woman’s Missionary Union of Missouri is both the first female and the first layperson to be elected president of Churchnet, ministry network of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri.
Donna Potts, a member of Fee Fee Baptist Church in St. Louis, was elected president during Chuchnet’s 11th annual gathering April 5-6 at Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo.
Prior to her election, Potts served as the ministry’s vice president. She is a current board member of the North American Baptist Fellowship, one of the six regional arms of the Baptist World Alliance. She has been active for several years in Woman’s Missionary Union leadership in Missouri.
Potts succeeds Doyle Sager, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Mo., who completed three years as the organization’s president.
Host Pastor Wallace Hartsfield II of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church spoke twice during the meeting. In one Bible study, he compared the poor people left behind in Judah during the Babylonian Exile to areas of Kansas City where his church ministers today.
“In the 1960s, this was predominantly a white neighborhood,” he said. Then the area experienced white flight to the suburbs and other places. The next wave was black flight, as those with the resources to leave made their way out, too.
“You know what happens when you leave a place un-resourced,” he said.
In a second Bible study on the New Testament passage commonly known as the “Widow’s Mite,” Hartsfield focused on the woman’s exploitation by the religious system of her day.
“We should not support systems that exploit,” he added. “That is victimization at its best.”
“It is time for them to be thrown down,” he said, which is what Jesus said in the story would happen to the stones of the temple.