Photo: Gil Hanke, general secretary of the General Commission on UM Men, presents a life membership certificate to Ann Waller
DENVER, Colo. ––Generally local groups of UM Men honor one of their own members, but a group of men in Denver requested a life membership for a staff member in Nashville they had never personally met.
Robert (Bob) Phillips Jr., president of Metropolitan District Stout Hearted Men’s Ministry in Denver, sent a long-distance life membership to Ann Waller, a staff executive of the General Commission on UM Men in Nashville.
Phillips says that after he was named president in 2008, he called Ann for help. “I remember calling her and asking a ton of questions and requesting that she send me some talking materials to take with me as I visited the 45 churches in my district,” says Phillips. “I also remember sending her a thank-you note for her quick response at that time, but I am not sure I ever expressed my appreciation for the way she took her valuable time to encourage me to lay down a sound foundation to renew our activities and grow a healthy and solid working district men’s ministry.”
Jim Turner, a district vice president, says he has been working with UM Men since he was age 19, and Ann Waller has always been there to help him. He especially remembers her when he served as president of UM Men in Mobile, Ala.
Turner is helping organize a district retreat with Dan Schaffer, director of Wesleyan Building Brothers leadership training program, to lead a retreat for the district, and he is organizing a chartered bus trip to the 2013 National Gathering of UM Men in Nashville.
Stout Hearted Men support a Denver agency that provides food, transportation, health care and housing for hungry and homeless families. They also support an inner city ministry that operates food banks and a program that helps young fathers live up to their responsibilities.
“Ann can take credit for all these things and more,” says Phillips. “If I had not been assisted at the beginning of my tour as president and throughout the past two years, none of these achievements would have happened. Ann’s name is known throughout our district by men whom she helped in other stations of their life.
“We love Ann,” concluded Phillips. “We highly recommend her to become the anchor life member of the Metropolitan District Stout Hearted Men’s Ministry of the Rocky Mountain Conference with full voting rights and privileges of the district executive board.
Waller has taken time off from time to time, but she has worked with UM Men for a total of nearly 14 years. She leaves the staff about the first of August to attend school with her daughter in Copenhagen, Denmark. The staff and UM groups across the nation will miss her greatly and hope she will return to the staff sometime in the future.