Having accrued three decades of inimitable experience as a religious educator and consultant, Myrtle “Myrte” R. Veach garnered a laudable reputation as a youth manager on behalf of Lifeway Christian Resources between 1977 and her retirement in 1994. In her earlier years, she found success with Memorial Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and First Baptist Church in Garland, Texas, as a youth education director. She was subsequently hired by the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1969, where she excelled as a youth consultant. Additionally, Ms. Veach maintained the Veach Youth Ministry in Brentwood, Tennessee, where she was both the president and a consultant between 1994 and 2000.
During the course of her extensive career, Ms. Veach often traveled throughout the country hosting conferences on Sunday school for youth and their leaders. She was also responsible for helping develop a curriculum for teenagers with the Clearview Baptist Church. A talented writer, she authored three books as well, writing “Youth Sunday Schoolwork” in 1982, “Basic Youth Sunday Schoolwork” in 1987 and “Breakthrough: Youth Sunday Schoolwork” in 1991. Deeply involved in her local community, Ms. Veach has been actively engaged with the United Way of Williamson County. In addition to volunteering, she also chaired a group of United Way individuals that apportioned the allocation of local donations.
As a teenager, Ms. Veach had a deep sense that God was calling her to do something special for him and she felt this way at about 12 years old. She said she could be a missionary, as Baptist church women could not be preachers, which she thought she would be great at. She ultimately decided upon a career in education instead. She completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Corpus Christi in 1959. Ms. Veach later attained a Master of Religious Education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1964. When she graduated from seminary, she had many interviews, and the places she decided to work at interested in her.
Following Ms. Veach receiving these degrees, there were two influential women in the United States that were youth directors, one in Atlanta and one in Oklahoma City at Southern Baptist churches. Inspired by them, she thought she could do the same in becoming a youth director. Another woman, Phyllis Woodruff Sapp, wrote a book called “Creative Teaching in the Church School”; Ms. Veach went to a seminar that she led, and that was the first time she was shown how to use creative learning not just to lecture, but to teach the Bible.
To remain aware of developments affecting her area of expertise, Ms. Veach has been an active member of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. To recognize her accomplishments, she was notably the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, which she considers the highlight of her career. There were many graduates and people who did what she did, but she was very pleased and proud that she won this award. She still hears from the students she taught in Sunday school, which is validation that she chose the right career path.
Moving forward, Ms. Veach feels very positive about her career and the influence that she had over the years. She still thanks God, as she was able to travel and do things that women weren’t normally allowed to do in those years. When Ms. Veach looks back at her career, she is grateful she could work with people who wanted to work with teenagers as much as she did.