LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Elizabeth “Liz” A. Encinia is the new executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union after being unanimously elected Saturday by the Kentucky WMU Executive Board.
Encina, who was the Missional Lifestyle Strategist of WMU of Texas, succeeds Joy Bolton, who has been the executive-director of Kentucky WMU for the past 19 years.
Encinia, who begins her new position on Oct. 15, was presented to the board by a search committed appointed in December after Bolton announced she was retiring.
Encinia brings experience and passion to her new position after serving on the WMU of Texas staff since 2008 as the Missional Lifestyle Strategist for preschool children and youth groups. She developed a strategy to engage churches in mission’s discipleship beyond traditional programming.
In addition to age-level responsibilities, she served as the digital specialist by managing the WMU of Texas website, app, and social media accounts.
Encinia has also written several articles in national WMU publications and served at national WMU on the Camping Advisory Group. Her other accomplishments include participating in several initiative of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, including working with young Latinos to raise awareness for ministering to millennials in the Hispanic church and providing graphic design services for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
Encinia is a two-time graduate of Dallas Baptist University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and Master of Arts degree in Christian education. Currently she is pursuing a doctoral degree in strategic leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She anticipates graduating by 2021.
“Having served in a state convention and in national WMU initiative, Liz brings great experience as a leader to this role along with tremendous creativity,” said Benita Decker, chair of the search committee. “The affirmations of her leadership received from people across the convention speaks volumes. Her passion for the Great Commission and age-level missions’ education and living a missions’ lifestyle is inspiring.”
Roetta Vaught, president of Kentucky WMU and a member of the search committee, raved over the selection.
“Her experience, working at the state level, leading conferences, going on mission trips and working with the different age levels, demonstrates her love for missions and the WMU,” Vaught said. “Liz’s knowledge, experience and passion for WMU have enabled her to connect with not only the youngest but the oldest. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for KY WMU.”
In sharing her story with the Executive Board, Encinia spoke convincingly of her commitment to follow Christ and lead others.
“As a pastor’s kid I fell in love with the ministry of the church,” Encinia said. “During graduate school, the Lord made it clear that my calling was to develop and empower lay leadership to make disciples in their context. When I was a GA, I always thought my goal was to be like Lottie Moon, yet God was calling me to be more like Annie (Armstrong).”
Encinia said she has undergone growth while serving in Texas.
"I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind and this commitment has challenged me to grow in areas I never expected,” she said. “I come as a disciple, ready to serve, and eager to reach the next generation for the gospel.”
Encinia was born and raised in Sinton, Texas, a small town north of Corpus Christi. She is the daughter of Pastor Roman Encinia and his wife Isabel. Pastor Encinia continues to serve at Good News Baptist Church in Sinton. Liz has one brother Jacob. He and his wife, Laura, have three children.
“I am thrilled at the selection of Liz Encinia to succeed me as executive director of Kentucky WMU,” Bolton said. “She comes with great experience in WMU and will bring the perspective of a younger generation to our work. I look forward to working with her in the transition ahead.”
Members of the search committee were: Benita Decker, chairperson; Marcia Ballard; Susan Bryant; Diane McDaniel; Pat Reaves; and Roetta Vaught.