November 15, 2018

Miss Mildred McWhorter

An earthly angel has gained her heavenly reward.

Miss Mildred Beatrice McWhorter, age 87, of Franklin, GA passed away Sunday June 17, 2018 after several years of declining health.

Funeral services will be conducted Friday June 22, 2018 at 2:00 PM from Centralhatchee First Baptist Church with the Revs. Randall Fullerton, Mark Williams, and Neil Awbrey officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

The family will accept guests at Stutts Funeral Home Thursday evening from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.

Miss McWhorter was born June 26, 1930 near Centralhatchee, GA in Heard County to the late Rev. Rufus Alexander McWhorter and Stella Beatrice Eley McWhorter.

As a young girl she worked on the family farm. This instilled in her a work ethic that would serve her well for her entire life. She remembered tilling the ground, picking cotton, preparing food for family meals, and doing household chores on a daily basis.

For the McWhorters, Sunday was church day. Mr. Rufus McWhorter was a deacon and later became a pastor. The family attended Centralhatchee Baptist Church each week.

For Mildred, one verse of scripture spoke to her: John 3:16. At the age of 13, she became aware that the “whosoever” mentioned in that verse was referring to her. She turned her life over to Jesus Christ and became a devoted follower for the rest of her life.

She graduated from Centralhatchee High School, Class of 1947, and attended Berry College in Rome, GA. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree with a focus on home economics. While enrolled at Berry she was elected the leader of the Religious Education Club.

As the leader she was sent many letters from missionaries thanking her and the members of the club for their prayers of encouragement. These letters and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit led Mildred to consider becoming a missionary.

After teaching school for several years she enrolled in Carver School of Missions Work in Louisville, KY. After finishing her studies in seminary she applied to become a foreign missionary, but was turned away.

She went on to teach school in Gwinnett County, GA until one of her contacts in the Home Mission Board encouraged her to consider work in missions here in the USA.

She accepted a position as the director of missions in Port Arthur, TX. After working there for five years she was asked to become the director of missions in Houston. She was hesitant at first, but realized there was a great opportunity in inner city Houston. She took over as director in 1963. She became known as “Miss Mac” by the families in the area.

She had very little to work with at first, but through prayer, hard work, donations and volunteers she built what became the Mission Centers of Houston. Her first building was on Fletcher Street. In 1967 she realized that there was a need for another location, and with donations from local churches she built what is now Joy Fellowship Center.

Over the years Miss Mildred utilized the services of countless volunteers who worked for the mission center. There were local citizens, seminary students, and hundreds of young people and adults from churches across the country. She affectionately called them “Critters”. They helped organize food donations for distribution, taught Bible School, and walked countless miles up and down the streets of Houston.

As a gathering place for the many volunteers under her care, she opened the Gano Mission Center in the early 1980’s. This building now bears her name.

Finally, in the late 1980’s she opened a fourth mission center on Mason Drive. Together these four mission centers continue to serve the citizens of Houston’s Inner City providing food, labor, education, and human resources. Thousands of people have been touched by the services provided on a daily basis by the mission centers.

Miss Mildred developed a relationship with many businesses and individuals who donated time and resources to the mission centers. One in particular was Sysco Foods and its late founder, John Baugh. Sysco donated tons of food and supplies. This food was distributed to hundreds of families and provided a meal to those that could not afford to feed themselves.

Through the years Miss Mildred encountered many families that needed her love. One family in particular touched her heart and became a part of her family. Carl Guevara, Lloyd Lane, and their youngest brother, Terry Lane came to the center as young children – Terry was in the nursery. They later joined the Boy’s Club at the mission.

Several years later, their mother passed away, leaving a large family behind. Mildred accepted the three boys as if they were her own sons and helped to raise them.

Hundreds of volunteers served Miss Mildred at the Mission Centers over the years. Many stayed on as permanent employees or became missionaries themselves. Miss Mildred inspired others to show the love of Jesus to those who needed it most.

Her story was put into words in the book “Always A Friend” by author Jan Turrentine (© 1988 Women’s Missionary Union).

In the book, several of the encounters with Houston’s Inner City residents gives the reader an insight into the struggles Miss Mildred faced as a missionary and the glorious triumphs she had through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Miss Mildred retired as the director of Mission Centers in 1992. She did not end her missionary service. After retiring back home to Centralhatchee she served her home church. She began what became known as “TNT” – Thursday Nights Together – as an opportunity for local youth to gather for food, fellowship, and Bible study. She also spoke to thousands of people at churches far and wide about the importance of supporting home missions.

Miss Mildred served her Lord and Savior until her health began to fail her. Even in her old age she worshipped the One who had led her to become a missionary, protected her each day, and provided her every need when all seemed lost. Like the Apostle Paul, she fought the good fight, has finished her race, and kept the faith.

Survivors include two sons, Carl Lee Guevara (Dora) of Houston, TX, and Terry Lane (Pam) of Franklin, GA; three grandchildren, Daryl Guevara, Carl Guevara, Jr., and Fletcher Lane; three great-grandchildren, Briaunna, Giovani, and Brysen Guevara; nieces and nephews, Pam Davis (Steve) of Lawrenceville, GA, Ted McWhorter (Patti) of Athens, GA, Bruce McWhorter (Linda) of Johns Creek, GA, and Rob McWhorter (Susan) of Winder, GA; and a host of other relatives and friends.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Lloyd Lane, her brother, Bryant McWhorter and a niece, Judy Ann McWhorter.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Mission Centers of Houston (PO Box 30417 Houston, TX 77249).

Those who wish may write memorial tributes at www.stuttsfuneralhome.com.

Stutts Funeral Home of Franklin, GA in charge of arrangements.

Comments

  1. Terry Thompson says:

    A wonderful lady. She carried on her mission work at Avalon too the time she was there I saw her make a real difference with some other patients. An inspiration.

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