Texas WMU gift helps regional Singing Men group stand tall in Ukraine

From The Baptist Standard Published: April 21, 2011

The Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas is making sure the Singing Men of North Central Texas will stand on solid ground when they return to the Ukraine and Crimea for a series of concerts next spring.

“I grew up in a church that had a strong WMU and strong mission organizations. I was a Sunbeam, Mission Friend and Royal Ambassador,” said Larry Collins, president of the Singing Men of North Central Texas.


“So when our organization needed some additional funding for our mission work in Ukraine, I immediately turned to the Texas WMU.”

Collins was a part of the 70-voice Singing Men of North Central Texas choir that sang 11 evangelistic concerts in eight Ukrainian cities last October.

Southern Baptist Evangelist Michael Gott preached at each concert, and their meetings resulted in more than 4,600 recorded decisions for Christ.

“In several cities, the churches were too small to host our concerts, so we sang in the local performance hall. The problem was they had no suitable risers for our men to stand on. In one hall, I had to tell the men if they weighed more than 175 pounds they couldn’t stand on the rickety risers,” Collins explained.

So in preparation for their return to Ukraine & Crimea April 23-May 4, 2012, the choir purchased a set of used choral risers. But when they checked into shipping costs, they quickly realized getting them there was going to cost a lot more than they had expected.

So, the Texas WMU stepped up and agreed to pay to ship the risers, which will be used by three Texas Baptist groups in Ukraine over the next two years. Then the risers will be given to the Ukrainian Baptist Convention, which has started the Singing Men of Ukraine.

WMU Executive Director Sandy Wisdom-Martin presented the $3,775 check to Collins and the Singing Men at their concert rehearsal April 14.

“The spirit of cooperation and support indicated by the generous gift of the Texas WMU is as heart-warming as the gift is helpful,” Collins said.

“We will think of our sisters of the WMU every time we stand up to sing—literally.”

For more information about the Singing Men’s planned trip to Ukraine and Crimea, visit their website at www.smonct.org.