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Published on November 9th, 2016 | by ABCUSA


ABWM Announces 2016-2017 National Leadership Team of AB GIRLS

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/9/16)—American Baptist Women’s Ministries announces the appointment of the 2016-2017 national leadership team of AB GIRLS (NLT), the organization’s ministry with girls aged 8 to 18.

Convenor of AB GIRLS is Meghan Cubbison, a member of First Baptist Church, Ottawa, Kan. Now in her senior year of high school, Meghan served on the NLT in 2015-16 as the Missions youth coordinator for AB GIRLS. In her new role as convenor, she will additionally contribute her voice and vote at meetings of AB Women’s Ministries’ executive committee and board. Aside from her local AB GIRLS chapter, and serving as youth representative for her church council, in school she participates on her forensics team and is vice president of her school’s Chamber Choir. Meghan participates in many clubs including National Honors Society and Key Club, and is member of her high school varsity cheer squad. Meghan notes that as time goes on, she continues to be more amazed at the wonders of God and appreciates the opportunities she’s been given to share that with others.

Promotions Coordinator Ngun Hlei Tial is in the second year of her term on the NLT. A member of Carson Chin Baptist Church in West Allis, Wis., and a junior in high school, Ngun brings her tremendous organizational skills, faithful commitment to Christ, and good sense of fun to the team. Ngun is active in Key Club at her school, a student-led organization sponsored by Kiwanis International that focuses on community service: Ngun herself performed over 70 hours of community service in less than a year. Ngun enjoys the opportunity that the NLT offers her to grow closer to God, deepen her leadership skills, and reach out to other girls and young women to help them learn more about Christ.

Events Coordinator Driana Jamila-Lesan Arceneaux, a member of Riverview Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., and a sophomore in high school, begins the first year of her two-year term on the NLT. Driana has served as the secretary and vice president of the AB GIRLS ministry in her church, as well as being a youth usher; in the teen choir, the mime ministry, the discipleship and fellowship ministry, and president of the Young Women of Hope AB GIRLS group. In school, she’s in the National Honor Society and is president of the Keystone Club of the Boys and Girls Club of America; she has also been junior staff with the Salvation Army. Driana has seen the growth other girls from her church experienced during their time with the NLT and she hopes to be as good an influence on others as her predecessors have been for her.

Missions Coordinator Anna Kouadio is a sophomore in high school and a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Lowell, Mass. At church, she is active in Teens Alive and chorus. At her high school she serves on the welcoming committee to new students and is an annual volunteer for the Cancer Care Lowell General Hospital team walk. Anna’s family arrived in the U.S. from Côte d’Ivoire a few years ago and during the family’s transition she notes that she’s missed time with her father and her mother. However, she has learned to lean on God during difficult times and does her best to give to others in thanksgiving for what God has given her. She prays that her time on the NLT will give her the opportunity to help other girls discover what gifts the Lord has given them.

Missions and Events Coordinator (Adult) Luz Jurado has a long history with AB GIRLS nationally, having brought girls to the National Gathering for Girls many times and having supported her daughter, Elena, as a member and convenor of the NLT. Luz, a member of the Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana in San Diego, Calif., has worked with AB GIRLS in her church and region, and volunteers with Stand Up For Kids, an organization serving homeless youth in the San Diego area. A nurse by profession, Luz also served on national youth gathering teams with ABHMS in 2008 and 2012. Luz finds joy in helping young women grow in their leadership potential and deepen their faith.

Coordinator of AB GIRLS Deneen M. Ray is a past Regional Coordinator of AB GIRLS in American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles, Southwest, and Hawaii (ABCOFLASH), and has also served her region as a facilitator/leader/mentor for its discipleship/leadership training program. She has a B.A. in child development, a Masters of Divinity degree, and is pursuing a M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Trinity College & Theological Seminary. Deneen participated at the Immerse National Gathering for American Baptist Youth in D.C. (2012), and the BWA Youth Conference in Singapore (2013). Deneen’s deep faith and good humor help her create an open space for the youth team members to develop their leadership gifts as well as grow in their own relationships with Jesus Christ.

“This national leadership team of four youth and two adults exemplifies the richness of ABC’s diversity and passion to be disciples of Jesus Christ. Together these leaders encourage and inspire American Baptists—especially girls, but everyone!—to reach out to others, to be leaders, and to serve God in their churches, communities, and the world,” said Virginia Holmstrom, executive director of American Baptist Women’s Ministries. “Indeed, they live out the acronym for AB GIRLS:  American Baptist Girls In Relationship, Leadership, and Service.”

American Baptist Women’s Ministries is a Christ-centered ministry with a commitment to encourage and empower women and girls to serve God. For more information about American Baptist Women’s Ministries, visit

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.

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