Lynice Broyles, 78, from the Harmony community is the president of the Holston Conference of United Methodist Women.
“It was a growing experience, which helped me to grow into my ministry work,” Broyles said of her administrative position at the USDA. “It really gave me the leadership skills necessary to work for the UMW. The Holston Conference ranges from Radford, Virginia, all the way down into Georgia and has about 2,500 women in its conference.”
The UMW bands together to form and sponsor programs that battle against human trafficking, drug addiction and teen suicide.
“Human trafficking, drug addiction and teen suicide are some of our biggest concerns right now,” Broyles said. “Human trafficking in this area has gotten to be horrible. We’re trying to stop the sale of young women. We work with the FBI and advocacy groups to educate people in knowing what to look for.”
Broyles grew up on a farm with 13 other siblings; they spent their days at Sulphur Springs High School and returned home to help their father, Yansel “Cap” McGee, on the farm.
“We did lots of things on the farm growing up,” Broyles said. “We learned how to work; we really did. We all had jobs, whether it be working with the tobacco, gardening or whatever needed to be done.”
She graduated high school in 1957 and advanced to Steed College, where she obtained her degree in secretarial practice in 1958.
“After I graduated, I worked with the Department of Human Services in the child welfare section until 1967,” Broyles said. “That’s the year I got the job with the USDA, and I worked there all the way up until 1998. That’s 31 years.”
Broyles married her late husband, Rex Broyles, in 1960, switching from the Baptist denomination to Methodist.
“All my siblings stayed Baptist,” Broyles said. “But we’re all in one. We have different names, but our beliefs are all basically the same.”
Officers for the UMW stay in office for four years until their term ends. Broyles’ term will end this year, but she plans to stay involved with its programs and outreach.
“The key to a long life is staying busy,” Broyles said.
And busy she will stay. Although her presidency ends this year, her involvement with the UMW will endure for years to come.