Missionettes: the Assemblies of God Mentoring Ministry for Girls Was Launched in 1955

missionettes1

A Missionettes Honor Star crowning, circa 1980s. (L-r): Julie Blasius, Melody Shoemaker, Chris Hulbert, Cindy Hulbert, and Cheryl Mesick, all from First Assembly of God (Three Rivers, Michigan).

This Week in AG History — January 20, 1957

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on PE-News, 19 January 2017

Missionettes, the original name of the national girls ministries program of the Assemblies of God, celebrated its first birthday 60 years ago. Now called National Girls Ministries Girls Clubs, the program was launched in 1955 as an extension of the Women’s Missionary Council (now Women’s Ministries Department).

Early in the 1950s, local Assemblies of God began developing programs to teach young women about missions and to prepare them for involvement in church ministries. One such example was Cheerbringers, a group of girls at First Assembly of God, Santa Cruz, California. Under the direction of Mrs. Meryl Steinberg, a ukulele band was started. Fifteen girls had ukuleles and began ministering in nursing homes, hospitals, and to shut-ins. The girls met on Wednesday evenings. Time was given for handwork followed by devotionals. The girls took an active role in the leadership of these meetings.

On the national level, the Women’s Missionary Council (WMC) began to develop the Missionettes mentoring ministry in response to the need to minister to girls and to establish a systematic plan for the older women to train the younger women (Titus 2:3,4). The first slogan for Missionettes, “Because we care we serve,” continued to be a motivating theme of the program for many years.

After months of planning, Missionettes was first introduced at the WMC Conference at the 1955 General Council. It was enthusiastically received. The program was created especially for girls ages 12 through 17, with the intent to involve girls in church ministries. One of its primary focuses was missions.

The first Missionettes club was officially chartered in January 1956. Since then, the clubs have continued to be organized across the United States and in many other countries. Through the years, modifications have been made to the program to include younger ages and updated material, but the ultimate purpose of winning girls to Jesus Christ and teaching them to live victoriously has never changed.

After just one year of the program being introduced nationally, the Pentecostal Evangel published glowing reports of Missionettes involved in revival and ministry. Here are just a few of those testimonies:

  • “Our group is a praying group, and we are catching a missionary vision. Praise God!”
  • One club with only 18 girls was able to raise $350 for missions.
  • A sponsor reported there had been such a wonderful revival among the girls that there had not been much time for working on projects.
  • Another sponsor told of two of their girls being baptized in the Holy Spirit at a Missionettes meeting.

In 2007, the national Missionettes Department changed its name to National Girls Ministries in order to better relate to girls in the 21st century and better reflect its mission. The current director is Mandy Groot.

To learn more about National Girls Ministries, or to access resources for teen girl leaders and parents, visit the National Girls Ministries website.

Read “Missionettes — One Year Old,” on pages 28 and 29 of the Jan. 19, 1957, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Speaking with Tongues,” by Carl Brumback

• “Israel’s Message to the Church,” by Albert L. Hoy

• “When the Spirit Came,” by A. T. Pierson

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: archives@ag.org
Website: www.iFPHC.org

3 Comments

Filed under History

3 responses to “Missionettes: the Assemblies of God Mentoring Ministry for Girls Was Launched in 1955

  1. Monica Emberson

    I loved Missionettes and have served many years in that miinistry. Sad to say that they are rewriting the curriculum using the NIV 2011 gender neutral Bible. I can not support this Bible version and there are many others that do not either. Just FYI- the AWANA program rewrote their curriculum in 2012 to exclude that Bible version, whereas the Assemblies of God are using the controversial NIV 2011 exclusively in JBG since 2013 and now they are beginning to use it exclusively in their rewritten Girls Ministries Curriculum (Missionettes). Have been wondering and asking the National office why since 2012 with absolutely no response. I do not uphold the ‘KJV only’ belief- I just simply believe that this NIV 2011 version is a blatant attempt from the enemy to undermine and wiggle his way into diluting the accurate preserving of God’s Word. He (our enemy) wants the Bible to be gender neutral because that is all we hear in our society-our society is WRONG! He (our enemy) and the proponents of the NIV 2011 (National AG Office is standing up to be counted in this number) want the Bible to “not offend”— The Bible offends all of us when we sin. Do we really want to keep up with the culture and social network by compromising God’s Word because we do not want to offend anyone?
    I believe that is the direction our National Office is taking by adopting this version exclusively?
    Something is very wrong!

    • Cathy Smith

      Thank you for sharing your comment. I had no idea! I was a leader for about 8 years up until they changed the club name from Missionettes to MPact. My children are now grown and my granddaughters are now in MPact. I agree with you wholeheartedly that God’s word should not be diluted as to not offend anyone. I actually have and read the NIV 1984 version that I’ve had many years, however I have compared several verses to the KJV and NASB bibles we have and like I have heard, NIV is missing some verses that the others have. Hold firm to your convictions, Monica. The Bible warns there will be a great falling away of believers and I believe this is a paving stone on the road in that direction.

    • Mandy

      Monica, I’m sorry you’ve reached out to the national AG offices with no reply. Please know that we will talk with you. My ext. is 4076. Blessings to you!!

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