By Bob Andelman
Religious Conference Manager Magazine
Oct 1, 2007 12:00 PM

Don’t Make the Mistake of thinking that Elnora P. Hamb, president of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church’s Women’s Missionary Council, is retired, just because hers is a volunteer job.

“How many hours a week do I spend as president? Sunup to sundown!” she says, chuckling, as if it were the most obvious bit of information she could ever impart. “I don’t have paid staff; we’re just constantly working!”

In fact, the rules that she and her predecessors work under are clear: The national president cannot be gainfully employed.

So this 67-year-old retired media specialist with the Chicago Board of Education and spouse of a retired Chicago bus driver must be independently wealthy, right?

Here comes that laughter again.

“No, I wasn’t born into money,” Hamb says, “but it’s working out OK. We’re humble folks.”

That’s a great attitude to have in her job, considering that the Women’s Missionary Council ministers to 380,000 women around the globe, with followers in Africa, Haiti, and Jamaica, in addition to the United States.

“I supervise, in the U.S., 32 regions and 32 region presidents. And we have many, many districts within those regions,” she says.

The Women’s Missionary Council is one of 10 general programmatic departments within the church, which dates to 1780 in Jackson, Tenn. “Our mission is that we will share the good news — salvation through Jesus — with men, women, and children at home and abroad,” Hamb explains.

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