Obituary: Dorothy Pryor, longtime leader of Georgia Woman’s Missionary Union


ATLANTA – Dorothy Pryor, the longtime executive director of the Georgia Woman’s Missionary Union, passed away on Sunday. She was 98.

An Alabama native, Pryor served with that state’s WMU before joining Georgia WMU where she rose to the position of executive director in 1963. She led the organization until her retirement in 1991.

During her career, she traveled to 40 countries in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as throughout the U.S.

Pryor wrote teaching guides, mission study books, and entries for the Dictionary of Georgia Biography and The Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists.

The Liberian Baptist Seminary named a portion of its campus the Dorothy Pryor Compound in recognition of her many years of encouragement and support.

Beth Ann Williams, women’s ministry strategist for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said Pryor served Georgia WMU faithfully for 28 years.

“She was a well-respected, gifted leader who modeled missions giving, praying, and serving,” Williams said. “Her passion to make Him known to all people is the legacy she leaves behind.”

Born January 13, 1925 in Decatur, Alabama, she is preceded in death by her parents Nathan Marion and Eva Norwood Pryor, her sister Beulah Pryor Young, and her nephew Steven Wayne Young.  She is survived by her nephew and nieces Roger Pryor Young (Denise), Alpharetta, Georgia; Pam Young Vice (Harry) of Hartselle, Alabama; Dottie Young Hulvey (Chris) of Birmingham, Alabama; Yancy Brian Young (Candice) of Hartselle, Alabama; eight great-nieces and -nephews, and four great-great-nieces and -nephews. 

Pryor was a graduate of Judson College in Marion, Alabama and Carver School of Missions and Social Work, which has since merged with The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. She received three honorary doctorates from Judson College, Tift College, and Mercer University. 

Pryor came to Atlanta in 1955 to join the WMU staff.  She served as a trustee for the Georgia Baptist Healthcare System, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, Baptist Meriwether Hospital, Baptist North Hospital, and Georgia Baptist Healthcare Foundation.  She also served as an officer of the national WMU Foundation, as vice president of the executive board of the Macedonian Call Foundation, vice president of the Andrew P. Stewart Center Board of Directors, chair of the board of advisors of Judson College, chair of the board of visitors of Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, as a member of the board of visitors of McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. 

Pryor had been a member of Second Ponce DeLeon Baptist and First Baptist of Decatur.  She joined Wieuca Road Baptist Church in 1970 where she served on various committees, taught Sunday school, and was elected its first female deacon in 1979. 

Visitation will be at A. S. Turner Funeral Home in Decatur, Georgia from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.  A second visitation will be at Roselawn Funeral Home in Decatur, Alabama, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, followed by a graveside service at 11:30 a.m. at the Decatur City Cemetery, Decatur, Alabama.  A celebration of life service is set for 2 p.m. on April 13 at The Church at Wieuca.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Baptist WMU of Georgia, 4295 Brogdon Exchange, Suwanee, Ga. 30024 for the Camp Pinnacle Capital Campaign; the WMU Foundation, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, Ala.  35242 for the Kate Ellen Gruver Endowment Fund; the June Whitlow Endowment Fund; or The Church at Wieuca, 3626 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, Ga.  30326.