The following were the WMS Directors who served WMU in chronological order:
Mrs. J.M. Ayorinde (1966-1975)
The first Nigerian WMS Director was late Mrs. J.M. Ayorinde. Her name and the title of Convention WMS Director appeared in WMU Yearbook of 1967. She was an impactful leader who served till 1975 when she retired. As the pioneer, she laid a good and solid foundation of planning the annual programmes of work, designed report forms, various offerings, served as Supervisor and assisted association field workers throughout Nigeria and Ghana. She encouraged women to attend camp, conference and convention meetings where she taught them etiquette, table manners and dress code. She had sympathy for nursing mothers who had to attend meetings with their little babies and toddlers. Realising the difficulties and hindrances faced by such women in caring for the children and faithfully attending all meetings, she encouraged and counselled churches, associations and conferences to ensure sponsorship of non-nursing mothers to meetings. All these she did as a part-time worker.
Deaconess Grace Sagie (1975-1977)
Deaconess Grace Sagie succeeded Mama Ayorinde in 1975 and she served assiduously for three years. She used her field experience to the maximum in her service as Convention WMS Director. She continued the work without lowering the standard laid by her predecessor. Her ability to speak English and some other Nigerian languages was a great asset. She travelled wide attending women’s meetings and camps all over Nigeria. She also served on part-time basis.
Mrs. (now Dr.) Aduke Akinola (1977-1984)
Deaconess Grace Sagie passed the baton of leadership to Mrs. Aduke Akinola in 1977 and she served meritoriously in this capacity till 1984 when she became the Executive Secretary (later Executive Director) of WMU of Nigeria.
Dr. Mrs. A. Akinola’s tenure as Convention WMS Director brought modifications to the activities of WMS in the area of reporting and camping styles. She utilized her experience as Convention Young People’s Leader of the 50s to bring the women’s work to higher standard. The annual plans of work became better clarified during her tenure. She encouraged the associational field workers and influenced the Executive Board to revise the salary and other benefits of that group of workers. Mama also served in this capacity as part-time worker.
Deaconess Adebisi A. Kolade (1984-1995)
Deaconess A.A. Kolade took over from Mama Akinola as Convention WMS Director in 1984 and this she did faithfully for a period of ten years. She fortified the work of Mama Akinola in the area of reporting. As a good mixer, she received the cooperation of WMS Directors of Conferences. Her style of reporting was comprehensive and strict. She encouraged the women largely to have interest in crocheting, which she loved dearly. She also served voluntarily as she received no salaries as part-time worker.
Mrs. Adenike Olasina (1995-2007)
The story of the modern day WMS would not be complete without the mention of Mama Adenike Olasina, an icon per excellence. She took over from Deaconess A.A. Kolade as the first full-time Convention WMS Director taking it up as a career. She enjoyed the assistance of Dr. Aduke Akinola who served in that position earlier before becoming the Executive Director. Mrs. Olasina’s vision was mainly for the women to project the spiritual growth which they have acquired over many years through the services of her predecessors.
As a full-time paid worker, she had the advantage of introducing few publications to help the women achieve the goals of spiritual growth as follows:
Bible Verses’ Card printed annually and bought by each member of the organisation;
Certificate of Honour presented to the highest attendants of WMS weekly meetings;
the organisation’s magazine, Proclaim was re-designed during her tenure; and
a mini handbook on WMU titled Enjoy WMU Work was also produced in the three main languages by Mama Olasina.
During the period that Mama Olasina served, she was able to achieve the following in addition to those mentioned above:
v. In 2005, a giant diesel engine generating plant was installed at the headquarters in Ibadan by WMS.
vi. Camp progammes have become spiritual retreats charged by the Holy Spirit. Spirit-filled Bible study and prayers have adorned the women’s camping throughout the country to the glory of God.
vii. Attendance has highly increased and so have testimonies.
viii. Annual WMS Leadership Workshop held in three zones in Nigeria was established in 2005. The workshop is mainly for powerful spiritual refreshing and fellowshipping.
ix. A desktop computer and accessories were installed in WMS office before Mrs. Olasina’s retirement. The fund was sourced from conferences by her to the glory of God. Mama retired in 2007, having served for 12 years as Convention WMS Director.
Pastor Dr. Mrs. Mary Mojoyin Fatoki (2007-2016)
Pastor Dr. Mrs. M.M. Fatoki took over from Mama Olasina in September, 2007. She was actively involved in WMU work on voluntary basis at the local level in Ogbomoso and its environs. She was WMS Director for Ogbomoso Conference before joining WMU Convention as full-time employee.
Her vision and mission for WMS organisation was numerical and spiritual growth of the women, soul winning, marital bliss, women’s empowerment and enrolment of young women leaders for continuity of the organisation. Her vision was realised as more women attended meetings which further manifested in the number of saved souls and rededication of lives. Women were empowered economically as they used skills (production of home-made bread, balms, soaps, stove wick, etc.) learnt to better their families. Other achievements during Mama Fatoki’s tenure include: (a) Purchase of WMS Bus (b) Band set given to Headquarters’ Chapel (c) Amplifier and Mixer for Conference Centre, Ede (d) WMS Hostel of 80 bed capacity at Camp Young, Ede (e) Review of Enjoy WMU Work booklet (Third Edition) in 2015
Mama Fatoki together with the retired WMU Executive Director, Mama Rev. Yemi Ladokun, produced Kingdom Women Magazine.
7). Mrs. Mary Kanyinade Olaniyan (2016- Date)
Mrs. Mary Kanyinade Olaniyan took over from Pastor Dr. Mrs. Mary M. Fatoki. She assumed duty as the third full-time Convention WMS Director on August 1, 2016. She was the Northeast WMU President before joining WMU of Nigeria. Her vision includes to:
see WMS members become better home builders who are spiritually sensitive and self-sustaining so that our daily lives and leadership style at home, church and work place will encourage and influence others positively;
to bridge the gap in relationship between existing and emerging WMS members;
to achieve increase in numerical and spiritual growth of members at meetings from the local church, association, conference and convention levels and;
connect with WMS members through improved communication networking.
In achieving the above vision, an empirical study was carried out to see how emerging WMS can work with the existing WMS to improve WMS at large and the results were used to write some articles in 2018 Proclaim.
There have been great improvements in the area of communication and relationship amongst WMS members as WhatsApp fora such as Directors/Presidents, Eastern Directors/Presidents, Northern Directors/Presidents and Western Directors/Presidents respectively were created to boost communication with the Headquarters.
Moreover, on the issue of numerical and spiritual growth, there has been great increase as WMS Leadership Workshop of Western and Eastern Zones multiplied into two groups each to God’s glory. There was increase in souls saved and so many testimonies of God’s goodness in the lives of members. WMS bought a Sumec 7.5 KVA Generator for Camp Young, Ede
Finally, attendance of women at the maiden (separate) WMU Convention of 2018 in Benin was awesome.
These are our reliable and efficient WMS Conference Directors:
Anioma Delta Mrs. R.N. Onya
Bayelsa Mrs. Ruth Abili
Edo Mrs. Abbe
Ekiti Mrs. J.O. Adeyemi
Emmanuel Mrs. E. Maduabuchi
Ethiope Delta Deaconess Joyce Salami
FCT Mrs. Regina Ebzan Barnabas
Fellowship Mrs. Rifkatu Fera
Gongola Pastor Mrs. Evelyn Joel
Hope Deaconess Ema A. Ikidde
Ibadan Deaconess Ojo
Imo Mrs. Blessing Ihuarulam
Kaduna Mrs. Penninah Magaji
Kogi Mrs. V.O. Omotayo
Kwara Mrs. F.O. Afolayanka
Lagos Central Mrs. A.A. Iyegbu
Lagos East Mrs. D.O. Okikiade
Lagos West Mrs. O.A. Dada
Niger/Kebbi Pastor Mrs. Martha Daniel Appa
Northeast Mrs. Elcy Chiroma
North West Mrs. Lami Kabiru
Ogbomoso Deaconess Funmi Ogunwobi
Ogun Deaconess V.O. Ogunbanjo
Oke Ogun Deaconess E.O. Adeoti
Ondo Mrs. M.M. Bodunde
Osun Mrs. A.O. Owoyomi
Oyo Mrs. M.M. Afolabi
Plateau Mrs. D. Sylvester Adamu
Plateau South Mrs. Balaraba K. Amadu
Providence Delta Mrs. M.E. Apochi
Rivers Deaconess Orhichi Igenewari
Southern Kaduna Mrs. Paulina A. Hassan
Taraba Mrs. Rautha Ezekiel
United Mrs. Ruth E. Benjamin