Destiny MacCarthy of Montgomery has been selected to serve on the 2023 National Acteens Panel.
MacCarthy, a member of the Acteens group at Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Montgomery, is one of five young women from four states who will serve on the panel in the coming year. The panelists were announced Jan. 9 during the final day of national Woman’s Missionary Union January board meeting, held Jan. 7–9 in Birmingham.
In addition to being an Acteen since 7th grade, MacCarthy has participated in several local missions efforts, including volunteer service at WorldSong Missions Place in Cook Springs. She regularly attends Complete, Alabama WMU’s annual gathering for teen girls and their leaders, and in 2022 was a member of Alabama WMU’s Emerging Leaders program, a forum designed to enhance and develop the leadership skills and abilities of girls completing grades 9–12.
Trish Jackson, missions lifestyle strategist for Alabama WMU, said MacCarthy is a “standout” leader among her peers.
“Destiny was willing to come early to our weekend at Shocco Springs as a helper,” Jackson wrote in recommending MacCarthy to be an Acteens panelist. “She joyfully did everything I asked her to do and more by adding her own creative touches to the rooms we prepared for the Emerging Leaders.
“Her gentle spirit listened well and served hard at this event. … I was so thankful for her natural leadership and excellence.”
Sonja Peaspanen, Acteens leader at Eastern Hills, praised MacCarthy’s gentle encouragement and guidance of younger Acteens and her desire to grow as a disciple of Christ.
“Her love of God and her pursuit of a relationship with Jesus have ignited her desire to share the message of Jesus Christ with others,” Peaspanen said.
MacCarthy will serve alongside four other panelists. They are:
- Leslie Almonte, a member of Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Passaic, in Passaic, New Jersey. Almonte has served many years in VBS and Missions Friends at her church.
- Alyssa McMillon, member of Dudley Shoals Baptist Church in Granite Falls, North Carolina. McMillon has been on several missions trips, including trips to Puerto Rico, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
- Isavela Montanez Ojeda, member of Freeman Heights Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. Ojeda has served in a local soup kitchen and helped with VBS as a missions volunteer in Abilene, Texas.
- Hannah Rickman, a member of Retama Park Baptist Church, in Kingsville, Texas. Most recently Rickman served with her Acteens group at the Wyoming Rodeo ministry in Gillette, Wyoming, and in ministry to migrants at the Texas border.
Panelists serve as ambassadors for Acteens, WMU and missions during their year of service.
Great Commission representatives
“As these outstanding young women have opportunities to represent Acteens through blogs, social media, their state events and more, they will help us all to consider what it means to answer the Great Commission in our own lives,” said Heather Keller, WMU ministry consultant for children and students. “Acteens creates the environment for young women to learn about missions, pray for missions, support missions and do missions in their own community, across their own states and even around the world.
“I look forward to seeing how God uses this year’s panelists to influence others for Christ.”
Each member of the national Acteens panel will be awarded $1,500 through the WMU Foundation from the Jessica Powell Loftis Endowment for Acteens to assist with travel or academic expenses during the year.
The panel will be featured during the WMU Missions Adventures and the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in New Orleans June 11–12.