Fla. woman devoted to missions receives Myers award

by Amy Whitfield, posted Thursday, June 22, 2006 (11 years ago)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)--Jacqueline Draughon of Graceville, Fla., was honored as the third recipient of the Dr. Martha Myers GA Alumna of Distinction Award during the Woman Missionary Union’s annual missions celebration June 11.

Established in 2003, the annual award honors a Girls in Action alumna who exhibits a missions lifestyle and has dramatically influenced the lives of others, especially young girls, through missions, ministry and/or civic duty. The award is named in honor of Martha Myers, a former GA and missionary who was killed in Yemen in 2002.

At the early age of seven, Draughon accepted Christ and has spent a lifetime serving Him, first as a GA, and later as a pastor’s wife, instructor, WMU director, Sunday School teacher, church organist, as well as through several missions trips and community service projects.

Not even a stroke 10 years ago could stop the missions work of Draughon, who has served as WMU director at her church for the last 20 years. According to Sue Johns, who nominated Draughon for the award and praised her for her tireless contributions to missions, Draughon’s first words after the stroke were, “God did not do this to me!”

Now in her 80s and living with the physical effects of her stroke, Draughon continues to mold lives for missions involvement. Draughon makes sure the WMU organizations in her church have ample missions opportunities, Johns wrote in her nomination letter. For instance, Draughon chairs the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering project at her small church, First Baptist Church in Graceville, Fla., which exceeded its goal by $2,000 and ahead of schedule in 2005.

Draughon often looks for ways to inspire the GAs at her church, and recently facilitated their efforts to establish pen pals with missionary kids in Mozambique, a prayer partnership country with Florida WMU. In fact, some GAs in the First Baptist Church of Graceville have gone on to become missionaries because of Draughon’s influence, said the church’s pastor, Robert Johnson.

“Mrs. Draughon personalizes missions not only to the young ladies of the GAs but also to the whole church,” Johnson wrote in his nomination letter. “She is a living example to all of us. The GAs especially look up to her and have honored her dedication and commitment over the years. Several of our GAs have gone on to become missionaries themselves and every one of them credit Mrs. Draughon for being a tool of righteousness in their lives for missions.”

Draughon also serves on the Chipola Baptist Association executive board and assists with such projects as a new pregnancy care center baby shower, seeking to involve the entire church family in the effort, Johns said.

Draughon and her husband, a retired pastor and college professor/dean, have taken numerous mission trips throughout their career with the Baptist College of Florida, from working with Spanish groups in Miami to reaching new groups in South Dakota. She served several terms as an area representative for Florida WMU, working under three different WMU presidents, with far-reaching effects in the eight associations of northwest Florida and beyond, Johns said.

As the WMU director, Draughon sees it as her responsibility to love and mentor the preschoolers, children and youth in her church, friends say. But her work with GAs is deeply rooted, having been a GA herself and achieving Princess level through Forward Steps at her childhood church in Kansas City, Kan., where her mother was youth director.

“Mrs. Draughon is the epitome of a role model for young girls, from preschoolers to youth,” Johns wrote. “She is a living example of how to live one’s life totally committed to Jesus and to a lifestyle of missions. She is now in her 80s and despite her physical challenges, continues to learn about missions, pray for missions, give to missions, do missions, and support the work of the church and the denomination.”

Draughon joins Nancy Fountain Harrell, of Dublin Ga., and Sara Ross Clayton, of Douglas, Ga., as a Dr. Martha Myers GA Alumna of Distinction.

For more information on Girls in Action (GA) or the Dr. Martha Myers GA Alumna of Distinction Award, visit www.gafanclub.com, a website for adult GA Friends and Alumnae International.

For more information on WMU, visit www.wmu.com or call 205-991-8100.

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