In memoriam –– Ron Sarver
LAFAYETTE, La.––Ron Sarver, former vice president of the UM Men Foundation, former president of Louisiana Conference UM Men, former member of the General Commission on UM Men, and former president of South Central Jurisdiction UM Men, died October 18.
A men’s ministry specialist and district lay leader, Ron worked with churches in the Acadiana and Lake Charles Districts to create a pastors’ appreciation dinner, provide training in “Understanding Men’s Ministry,” and strengthen their scouting ministries. He served his local church as an adviser to the pastor, a member of the choir, a Sunday morning greeter and a member of the Ministry Team.
“I first became active in UM Men in 1968 at the age 26 when an older man of Asbury UMC in Lafayette invited me to go on a retreat,” said Ron in a 2006 article in UM Men magazine. “That man mentored me into leadership in the church.”
“Ron was a leader and friend to me in our various roles with men’s ministry in the South Central Jurisdiction, the commission and the UM Men Foundation,” said Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the General Commission on UM Men. “For several years we purposely miss-spelled ‘men’s ministry’ as ‘men’s menistry’––I believe at his suggestion. Sher and I were honored to have Ron as an unexpected houseguest when a late snow cancelled his flight. From an early training held at the BSA headquarters in Irving, to his continued work in spite of his illness to bring men of all ages to Christ, Ron was the model of a servant leader.”
“Ron Sarver was the epitome of a servant leader,” said Larry Coppock, director of scouting ministries for the commission. “When the UM Men Foundation and the commission were pondering ways to generate new operating funds in 2005, Ron came up with an idea of ‘Legacy Builders’. He not only leaves a legacy of giving faithfully of his time, but he crafted a philanthropic plan that lives on. God rest his soul.”
A graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S., agricultural engineering) and Louisiana State University (M.S. agricultural engineering), Ron owned an engineering firm for 35 years prior to selling it to a younger associate.
In the 2006 magazine article, Ron encouraged older men to mentor younger men. “After you have planted the seed to these young lives it is a simple task to ask for the commitment to discipleship. They will respond.”
Ron was a living example of that principle.