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Kay Young

Retired Support Staff
"Following the Lord’s Will"
By Kacey Heinlein, Intern, March 2015

“I’m so glad I followed the Lord’s will. He did better things for me than I ever could have imagined for myself.”

So said Kay Young, retired WGM support staff member. Kay served as the former Central Regional director for WGM. Though she grew up as the daughter of a pastor and was saved at a young age, Kay didn’t know she would spend most of her life in ministry.

Kay was born in Amanda County, Ohio, on March 29, 1943. She and her family lived several places in Ohio. In her sophomore year of high school, she got a job working at the soda fountain in a drugstore. From there, Kay went on to be a clerk, a pharmacy assistant, and a secretary in an automotive company before she felt a strong call by God to come to WGM in 1966.

“I tried to ignore the call I sensed on my heart for a week or so and got so miserable I couldn’t stand it,” she said. “It was a major step for me…. I came from Ohio to work here. I didn’t know anybody at all.”

Kay started in what was then the Prayer Ministries Department, where she helped organize teams who regularly prayed for WGM missionaries.

“We encouraged the people who were praying to be faithful and see it as a ministry,” she said.

Over her 40 years at WGM, Kay did secretarial work; organized prayer conventions; worked in Publishing; counseled missionaries; and became Central Regional director, providing for missionaries to speak in churches throughout the Midwest.

“I really enjoyed everything I did. Maybe not so much all the committee meetings,” Kay said.

However, she spent a lot more time traveling than sitting in committee meetings. She regularly represented WGM at conferences and traveled to churches across America to speak. Kay loved meeting and becoming friends with new people, and she still enjoys talking to those she met and visited as she traveled. “It’s like calling a member of your family you haven’t seen in a while,” she said.

Those travels were times when Kay came to see the power and love of God. “I knew a lot of stuff—head knowledge, concepts—but when I came to WGM, I experienced the reality of how God can take the feeblest attempt at something and make something good come out of it,” she said. She recalled driving through Montana on a Sunday in a time when gas stations were rarely open on the Lord’s Day. She had passed four stations that were closed and was running very low on gas when she saw one more station in the distance. She headed for it and the car, running on fumes, coasted to a stop next to the pump. The station was open, and the gas tank took its entire capacity to fill.

“Time after time after time, I saw the reality of what I’d been taught,” Kay said. “God provides.”

Though there’s no longer a Prayer Ministries Department at WGM, Kay insists that prayer is still a vital component of the work. “A lot of the grassroots power of WGM is in the prayer of a housewife who prays for WGM like her own child,” she said. “That kind of commitment is what’s made WGM strong.”

Since retiring, Kay has kept busy in her church, serving as the choir director and missions chairperson. She also volunteers at a local food pantry and is president of the WGM Alumni Association, where she contributes to the newsletter and keeps WGM retirees connected. “You might as well keep busy doing something fun,” she said.

Kay still likes to come in, have coffee, and chat with the people at WGM headquarters. “My life has been so rich just from being here,” she said. “WGM really was my life. It still is.”

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