UMM is working to implement a new model and vision of men’s ministry. We believe that the result will be men involved in all four areas of focus which will reach the world for Christ. United Methodist Men are responding to the four areas of focus in the following ways:

New places for new people and renewal of existing congregations…

  • Awakening and building new spiritually as a means to revive congregations.
  • Training clergy and lay leaders in effective discipleship of men.
  • Encouraging and equipping men to serve their pastors and congregations as ministry partners.
  • Assisting UMC leaders beyond the USA with relevant training and resources.

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· Ministry To Men, Leader Development, Leaders, Church Renewal

Six local pastors, including the first female, received G. Ross Freeman Leadership Awards for 2010.

Sharma Lewis

The Rev. Sharma D. Lewis, pastor of Wesley Chapel UMC, McDonough, Ga., received the award for her commitment to the work of the men at her church. Her ministry resulted in phenomenal growth both in number and in spirit.

“Rev. Lewis boldly preaches and teaches with an unyielding desire for us as a church body to serve God and revere His Holy Name,” said Tonja Johnson, president of the UM Men organization.  He said her “sincere concern for our personal welfare and spiritual growth as men of the church is truly remarkable.”

 John Stephensen

The Florida Conference recipient of the award is the Rev. Dr. John Stephenson, pastor of Anona UMC, Largo, Fla.  

His engagement with the men of his church is clearly seen as he consistently lifts up and participates in men’s ministries in all aspects of the church.  In a wide variety of areas, from disaster response, mentoring, fellowship groups and mission outreach, as his nomination states, he “always finds a way of bringing to our gatherings and fellowships a holiness In the Spirit, reminding us that it is not always all about us, but about our Lord Jesus Christ.’

Richard Stone

From North Carolina, the recipient is The Rev. Richard Stone, pastor of Fuquay Varina (N.C.) UMC.  He has been active and involved in the work of the men of the church in a wide variety of ways, from small groups to mission projects and Bible studies.  

“Richard Stone is very committed to the mission and ministry of men in our church,” said Charlie Gray. “He sets an example in his words and actions that serve to motivate and energize those who serve alongside him.  His leadership style is not ‘all consuming’ but instead provides opportunities for leadership and decision making to develop in others.”  

Jimmy Asbell, Jr

From the South Georgia Conference, the recipient of the 2010 G. Ross Freeman Award is the Rev. Dr. Jimmy Asbell, Jr ., senior pastor of First UMC, Warner Robins, Ga.
His nomination was very strong in praising him for always being involved in the many projects that the men undertake – not only helping but leading the way.  Dr. Asbell is one that goes the extra mile and works tirelessly with the men to help them be the best that they can be.

Stephen E. Handy

From the Tennessee Conference, the award was presented to the Rev. Stephen E. Handy, Sr., pastor of McKendree UMC, Nashville.  

“Brother Steve has been instrumental in promoting and supporting men’s ministry in all of the churches he has served and is most deserving of this honor”, said Ingram Howard, president of Tennessee Conference UM Men.  Rev. Handy has been instrumental in rebuilding and reorganizing the men's ministry at McKendree UMC of Nashville.  Under his leadership, the men of the church have been active in multiple forms of mission to the community and beyond in the name of Jesus Christ.

Clarence "Smoke" Kanipe

The South Carolina Conference recipient of the award is the Rev. Clarence "Smoke" Kanipe, pastor of Mauldin (S.C.) UMC.  

In a nomination statement, UM Men said, “The most influential effect that Smoke has had on the UM Men as well as the church body are his family values and the way he lives his life outside the church.  As a Christian man, he is an example to follow in his everyday life by the way he places his family high on his Priority list.  He makes sure that his family is taken care of both spiritually and physically.  By his actions, his love of God, the way he walks with Christ is an example for each of the men in Mauldin to live by.”

The Rev. G. Ross Freeman, a member of the South Georgia Conference, served 52 years as a city missionary, pastor, academic administrator, district superintendent, denominational executive. and editor before he retired in 1993. The G. Ross Freeman Foundation annually presents awards to pastors approved by The Jurisdictional Awards Committee as designated by the Annual Conference Selection Committee.

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