Tammy and Joseph Silvas and their five children
HURST, Texas–– Joseph Silvas, 46, a member of St. Paul UMC in Hurst, is one of only three people in the U.S. to serve as both a scouting ministry specialist and a men’s ministry specialist.
The two positions were instituted by the Nashville-based General Commission on UM Men to help local churches expand their ministries to youth and men.
There are 155 registered scouting ministry specialists and 32 active men’s ministry specialists, but only three people have been trained and certified to serve in both volunteer positions.
Silvas completed the basic lay speaking ministries course, and a “No Man Left Behind” course at Richardson, Texas, and he is currently enrolled in a certified lay minister program at Kansas Wesleyan University. “I have found real growth through the program,: said Silvas.
He also completed a course in the history and polity of the UMC, and established a two-year plan to help area churches develop men’s ministry.
As a part of his accreditation as a men’s ministry specialists, he had interviews with the Rev. J. Thomas Laney, assistant director of the Turner Training Center for Church Leadership and Congregational Development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the UM Men commission.
“Not only has he had remarkable success in his local unit of UM Men, he is now the district president,: said Hanke. “He has a good network of both lay and clergy leaders in his district, and he is helping several churches restart their men’s ministry programs.”
Silvas can also help churches with their scouting ministry as he serves as scoutmaster for Troop 333 at St. Paul UMC.
With a bachelor of arts in history and a master of art in criminology and criminal justice, Silvas has served as a supervisor for a juvenile center, a senior drill instructor for Harris County Juvenile Boot Camp, an adult probation officer and a prison guard.
He currently serves as a real estate broker with his own company.
Silvas achieved the rank of captain in the U.S Army Reserves and served as a commander of a Drill Sergeant Unit.
He and his wife, Tammy, co-chair a St. Paul UMC committee planning children and family activities and they participate in marriage-enrichment conferences, Sunday school classes and Disciple Bible Study classes.
They are parents of five children ages 4, 8, 9, 11 and 12.