September 7, 2016
Kathleen Moore Mallory (1879-1954)
Kathleen Mallory’s legacy continues through many ministries of the Woman’s Missionary Union.
For the purpose of prayer and dissemination of information about missionaries, the Woman’s Mission to Woman was founded by Baltimore Baptist women in 1971. Prior to this, ladies gathered to pray for missions under the leadership of women such as Ann Baker Graves.
In 1887, Maryland Baptist women began publishing and distributing missions literature. During the May 1888 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Richmond, Virginia, the Executive Committee of the Woman’s Mission Societies adopted a constitution, elected officers and chose Baltimore, Maryland as headquarters.
Annie Walker Armstrong, the first corresponding secretary (1888-1906) was succeeded by Edith Campbell Crane (1907-1911)(later Mrs. Samuel Tucker Lanham) and then Kathleen Moore Mallory (1912-1948) an Alabama native.
In Baltimore as a student at Goucher College from 1892 to 1902, Miss Mallory served the longest tenure ofWMU corresponding secretaries (36 years) before limits of tenure were set in 1957 and defined as five years in 1981. She kept the WMU headquarters in Baltimore for nine years and moved with it to Birmingham, Alabama in 1921. (1)
Maryland Baptist women continued in excellence and won the trophy awarded by WMU so often, that Kathleen Mallory ruled from Birmingham for the trophy to stay in Baltimore to save the wear and tear of its annual round-trip to the national meeting.
Kathleen Mallory’s leadership through the Great Depression and two world wars was vital in saving the denomination from financial disaster on more than one occasion. Despite difficulties, the organization grew to 806,000 members and raised millions of dollars for missions during her service.
In addition to writing countless inspiring publications, Miss Mallory assumed the position of editor for the monthly Royal Service, a missions magazine, which is now one of the largest circulated publications for women in the United States. (2)
Named for Miss Mallory are: a hospital in Laichow-fu China, erected by Alabama Baptists’ donations; the large conference room in the WMU national office; and a residence hall of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
In Baltimore, Maryland, The Cross Street Good Will Center, a ministry planted by Marie Buhlmaier, was renamed for Kathleen Mallory in 1951.(3)
1- Annie Wright Ussery, “Mallory, Kathleen Moore,” vol. 2 of Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1958), 815-816.
2-White, Our Heritage, 71.
3- Buhlmaier to Brinkley: A History of the Mallory Baptist Center, 1915-1975 (n.p.,n.p.).