Mildred McWhorter (AD 1930-2018) died June 17 in Franklin, Georgia at age 87. A native of Georgia, she came to Texas in 1958 to do mission work in Port Arthur. She then moved to Houston, TX in 1963. She led the Baptist Mission Centers in Houston from 1963-1992. The Baptist Mission Centers were a ministry of local Baptists as well as the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board).
At Centralhatchee Baptist Church, Centralhatchee, GA, Mildred was saved at 13 after learning John 3:16 and realizing the “whosoever” meant her. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Berry College, Rome, GA and studied at the Carver School of missions and Social Word at Louisville, KY. Turned down by the Foreign Mission Board (IMB), she began work with the Home Mission Board.
She became legendary in her work in lower income areas of inner-city Houston. She loved the people and loved Jesus. In meeting needs of food and clothing, she always shared the love and salvation found in Jesus Christ. She ministered to drug addicts, prostitutes, gang members, and regular low-income folks. Not all appreciated her ministry, she estimated the tires on her car had been slashed well over 100 times. She coordinated the work of hundreds of volunteers, often college and seminary students. David R. Brumbelow had the privilege of being one of her volunteers (Critters) for two summers while he was in High School (more about that in a future article).
Miss McWhorter (Miss Mac) never married and felt she could not have accomplished what she did with the responsibilities of a husband and children. She did adopt three boys after their mother died, Carl Guevara, Lloyd Lane, Terry Lane.
She never lost her love of Georgia. She would occasionally speak of going to the Holy Land. Some thought she was taking a trip to Israel; she was speaking of Georgia. Upon retirement, she returned to the Holy Land, Centralhatchee, Georgia.
My parents, Joe and Bonnie Brumbelow, knew her well and thought the world of Miss McWhorter. I remember in the late 1960s my church provided a meal for the critters at the Baptist Mission Centers. Miss McWhorter told mom and dad (my dad was the pastor) she always looked forward to a meal from their church because they always did a first-class job. By the way, when your church provides such a meal, make sure you do your best cooking and provide plenty of it; it can be a huge blessing.
Miss McWhorter had a tremendous influence on the volunteers, as well as thousands in the communities of the Fletcher and Joy Mission Centers.
For more about Mildred McWhorter:
Always a Friend: The Story of Mildred McWhorter, by Jan Turrentine; 1988.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 14, AD 2018.
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