Earlene Gladney Joins Women’s Division as Director
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dana E. Jones, 212-870-3755
by Dana E. Jones*
Earlene Gladney of Memphis, Tenn., was selected as a director of the Women's Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries Aug 18. She fills a slot created by the resignation of Diane Fielder of North Alabama Conference.
Ms. Gladney, elected as she attended the division's Aug. 18-20 meeting in White Plains, N.Y., will serve until 2008. She joins the division as directors are considering restructure and hiring of a new chief executive.
"My first meeting was intense," Ms. Gladney said. "I was familiar with many of the issues and did my reading before the meeting."
Ms. Gladney said she is pleased to be part of the division.
"It's amazing work," she said. "I am on the international committee. With so many wars and conflicts around the world, it is nice to be able to help people in those situations help themselves."
Ms. Gladney can't remember when she wasn't involved in United Methodist Women.
"My mother was in United Methodist Women, and she just dragged me along to meetings," Ms. Gladney said. "When I got older, I joined."
She is active as the leader of a subgroup in her local United Methodist Women unit at Centenary United Methodist Church in Memphis, and she's held offices beyond the local church.
"I was secretary of program resources on the district and mission coordinator for education and interpretation for the conference," she said. "I was on the planning team for the South Atlantic Regional School of Christian Mission and dean and assistant dean of the Memphis Conference School of Christian Mission."
Ms. Gladney first learned of the work of the Women's Division from her mentor, Jessie LaRosa Greene, who was a director in the 1980s. She is excited to follow in Ms. Greene's footsteps. For Ms. Gladney, a key goal for United Methodist Women is attracting young women.
"We've got to inspire younger women to get into our organization," she said. "A lot of younger women say it's only for older women, and they will join later. We need them now. People seem to think you can't participate in United Methodist Women when you're working but you can. When I was working, I would take off a day or two here and there to get involved.
"There's so much mission work to be done, we really need the younger women."