Rayman P. Richardson has been named “United Methodist Man of the Year” by the West Virginia United Methodist Men.
Richardson is a member of LIFE United Methodist Church, Fairmont. The Man of the Year Award is the highest honor bestowed by the West Virginia United Methodist Men.
To be considered for the honor, a United Methodist man must have a lifetime of continuous service to the United Methodist Church and the community through the United Methodist Men. Other criteria include a Christian character, leadership in the church and community, and the faithful fulfillment of church membership vows with prayers, gifts, service, and witness.
Richardson was born in Piedmont, Missouri, in 1939. He was baptized and raised in Piedmont Methodist Church. He earned the rank of Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and served in the Order of the Arrow. He taught Sunday School classes to youth and adults, sang in choirs, played in his church’s bell choir, and played in a brass band.
He has an undergraduate degree from what is now known as Central Methodist University, a master’s degree from the University of Missouri, and a doctorate from The Ohio State University.
Richardson helped re-organize his United Methodist Men’s group around 1990 and has continued to be an active member. He served two terms as the Mon Valley District United Methodist Men’s president, from 1990 to 1991 and from 2017 to 2019.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Richardson led four mission trips to the devasted area. He also organized seven local ecumenical mission projects via the Faith in Action programs in the Fairmont area.
Other examples of Richardson’s service: he served as a Bible study group leader and Sunday School teacher for 20 years, he has been involved in a Bible Study Group that met every two weeks for 25 years, he has been a choir member for 30 years, he has driven cancer patients for their medical treatments to local hospitals for 35 years, and he has driven for Meals on Wheels for 17 years.
The West Virginia United Methodist Man of the Year Award was created in 1953. Other Marion County men who have received the honor: 2018, Ralph Herron, Highlawn United Methodist Church, Rivesville; 2013, Darroll Curtis Courtney, Barrackville United Methodist Church, Barrackville; 2009, Allan W. Wolfe, Eldora United Methodist Church, White Hall.
Also: 2003, Clarence J. Wilson, Christ United Methodist Church, Fairmont; 1999, James E. Coleman, First United Methodist Church, Fairmont; 1998, John Calvin Jones, Haught Chapel, Fairview; and 1989, John A. Greene, Haught Chapel, Fairview. A list of all previous award recipients is posted on the state men’s website, http://wvcummen.org.