This Week in AG History -- January 20, 1957
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 program 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!
Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.