On This Day in UB History: March 8

hazel300Hazel McCray served 16 years as Executive Secretary of the Women’s Missionary Fellowship, 1977-1993. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1992, and passed away March 8, 1993.

Hazel was born and raised on a farm in Northern Illinois. She married Robert McCray, and they farmed for 31 years near Claytonville, Ill. They were key laypersons in the Claytonville UB church.

Over the years, Hazel held pretty much every position in the Women’s Missionary Association at the local and branch levels. She joined the WMA’s leadership board in 1961, and served as its president for 14 years, a position which also put her on the executive committee of the Board of Missions.

In December 1977, Hazel was elected Executive Secretary of the WMA, and began her work the following spring. She simultaneously held the title of Associate Director of Missions. During her years in the national office, she visited the United Brethren work in Honduras, Jamaica, Sierra Leone, Hong Kong, Macau, and India.

Hazel was not only gifted in administration, but was a talented speaker who was much in demand. She was as an unflinchingly strong advocate for the WMA (which, during her years, changed its name to Women’s Missionary Fellowship). She loved the WMA, and loved United Brethren missions.

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