BIG SPRING, Texas –– James G. Bell, a veteran leader of mission trips, has been certified as a men’s ministry specialist in the Northwest Texas Annual Conference.
After serving as Volunteers-in-Mission coordinator for the Central Texas Conference and secretary of the Central Texas Conference United Methodist Men, Bell is now serving as a leader of UM Men in the Northwest Texas Conference.
“We have been praying for someone like James to step forward in the Northwest Texas Conference to lead the men,” said Ron Sarver, president of South Central Jurisdiction UM Men. “He is very passionate about men’s ministry and will be a great asset.”
A native of Lubbock, Bell graduated from Texas Tech University, and, as president of the Waxahachie District United Methodist Men, he organized several men’s retreats, attended several national men’s discipleship-training seminars, and led a small Band of Brothers group.
After serving as construction coordinator for a youth mission trip, Bell was asked to serve as Central Texas Conference director of Volunteers in Mission. During the three years he served in that volunteer post, he led seven additional youth mission trips and three Volunteer-in-Mission trips. He also organized conference workdays in Waco and Fort Worth and helped the conference form a covenant relationship with the Eastern Mexico Conference.
In 1995, when grapefruit-size hail hit Fort Worth, Bell served as the Red Cross disaster response coordinator and organized work teams from across the U.S. to put new roofs on more than 30 homes.
Short stay in California
After failed attempts to introduce Wesleyan-style small groups to a church in Lubbock, Bell moved his family to Fresno, California to serve as the state sales manager of a medical supply company.
The business folded nine months later.
“This was my time in the wilderness and the beginning a new journey,” said Bell.
He moved to Waxahachie as a sales executive for a competing firm. There he again became involved in missions and started a UM Men program at Ferris Heights UMC.
Last year, Bell closed his business in Waxahachie and moved his family back to the Lubbock area to help in the family business begun by his grandfather and uncle 18 years ago. Today he resides in Big Spring and sells clean water to people throughout the Permian Basin with Kinetico water systems.
Plans for Northwest Texas Conference
Each men’s ministry specialist is asked to prepare a five-year plan of action; Bell is proposing an ambitious one beginning with a small group of men and pastors from the Big Spring area who are active in UM Men programs. He then plans to shape this group into a leadership team to set plans for an annual conference retreat.
“In five year, I see a district president, a men’s ministry specialist, a prayer advocate, a scouting coordinator and a committee in each of the districts,” said Bell. “I also see at least 25 men attending the 2013 National Gathering of UM Men in Nashville.”