Lawrence Sherwood honored with Ministry of Memory Award

By Rachel Brosky

Lawrence Sherwood has been presented with the Ministry of Memory Award.

The honor was presented during Friday’s Board of Pension Retirees Luncheon by the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church.

The society presents the award to those who have achieved “excellence in archival and historical work in the local church, annual conference, jurisdictional or central conference.”

It has been said that Sherwood is the West Virginia Annual Conference’s “historian in residence.” He has spent years dedicated to preserving the history of the United Methodist Church.

“At a young age, he saw the value of preserving the heritage from which we, as United Methodists, come,” said Mary Johnson, chair of the Conference Commission on Archives and History.

Sherwood is a scholar of Bishop Francis Asbury. He published “The Tours of Bishop Francis Asbury in West Virginia” in 2011 and has contributed to several other publications.

He has served as vice president of the National Association of Methodist Historical Societies and is a long-time member of the West Virginia United Methodist Historical Society.

In 2011 Sherwood was presented a Distinguished Historian Award for his work and, in 2014, he was named a “History Hero” by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

In addition to being an historical expert of the church, he is the longest-serving member of conference, having served for 68 years.

Sherwood has also served as minister to several churches within the conference and, when it comes to church laws, he is an expert.

“He knows the Book of Discipline like the back of his hand,” said Melissa Paugh, referring to the Church’s book of law. Paugh is from St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, where Sherwood and his wife, Hazel, attend.

Sherwood was met with thunderous applause when he received his latest honor. He accepted it with a humble, “Thank you.” While he did not have many words, many people had positive words about him. He is described as a teacher, friend, and faithful follower of Jesus Christ.

“He is a kind and humble man with a great sense of humor and a zest for life,” Paugh says.


Sherwood is one of two national recipients this year. The other recipient is from another conference.


Learn more about the award online at