Annie Armstrong (1850-1938) was a lay Southern Baptist denominational leader instrumental in the founding of the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU).
Born in Maryland to tobacco farmers, Annie came from a long line of prominent Baptists. She accepted Christ as her Savior at the age of 20 and was equipped to be a missionary. She worked with various Baltimore missionary organizations ministering to African Americans, Native Americans, Chinese American immigrants, and indigent women. In 1888, she led the creation of the WMU, helping draft the constitution and serving as its first correspondent secretary. In her role, Annie facilitated communication between denominational leaders, local congregations and missionaries on the field. She was an extensive letter writer, handwriting 18,000 letters in one year alone.
In 1895, a series of controversies and conflicts with other WMU leaders led to her resignation but she remained active in her local congregation and with missions in the city of Baltimore. Towards the end of her life, she allowed an Easter collection of funds for home missions to be collected in her name, and made a conciliatory address to the WMU where she expressed the hope that the WMU would become “stronger with each successive year.” She died in 1938, the same year WMU celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.