The Friday evening session of the 2022 West Virginia Annual Conference included award presentations and recognition to several people and the great work they are doing for Jesus Christ.
The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for clergy was presented posthumously to Rev. Jim Richards who courageously led the congregation at Kenova UMC in the Western District through his battle with pancreatic cancer. Jim presided virtually over worship, bible study, and special services like Ash Wednesday, Advent, and Christmas Eve. Rev. Jim encouraged parishioners to continue in local missions in the midst of the pandemic by filling backpacks, lunchboxes, and Christmas shoeboxes for those in need. Throughout Rev. Jim Richards’ ministry, he inspired others to be innovative and engaged while making new disciples for Jesus Christ.
The laity recipient of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award went to Rosemary Snodgrass from Rymer UMC in the MonValley District. When outdoor services were being held, Rosemary found the perfect opportunity not only to invite children to worship, but she would go and pick them up if they needed a ride. Rosemary started a youth group, serves them a meal, and teaches them about God. When the church reopened, often there were more youth in attendance than adults. Rosemary is the epitome of Jesus’ mandate to GO and make disciples.
Tyler Curry from East High UMC in the MonValley District received the Youth Harry Denman Evangelist Award. Tyler has been integral in the life of the church by leading worship, bringing other youth into the life of the church, and being asked to join a high school group called “The Husky Helpers” which offers assistance to anyone in the community with physical labor. Harry would be proud to see how Tyler shows and shares his love of Christ with all he meets.
The One Matters Award, which consists of a commemorative plaque and a check for $1000, was given to Mt. Storm United Methodist Church in the Potomac Highlands District. The One Matters award is given to a church who has helped usher in at least one new person to the kingdom of God. Mt. Storm UMC and Rev. Becky Bennett added 10 new members through confirmation in 2021. District Superintendent Scott Ferguson, said Mt. Storm UMC has “strong youth leadership in the church that does many wonderful ministries. We celebrate the wonderful ministry that the youth at Mt. Storm are involved in to make disciples.”
The Francis Asbury Award celebrates United Methodist individuals who have contributed to fostering United Methodist ministries in higher education at the local, district, or annual conference level. Mark Stotler, chair of the Conference Higher Education and Campus Ministry Team, received this years award for his knowledge of and dedication to the ministry of higher education and campus ministry. Mark’s knowledgeable leadership and teamwork approach to problem-solving, campus ministry continues to bridge the church and campuses throughout the West Virginia Conference.