Neil Brown (right) receives the award for top conference unit of UM Men from Dan Ramsey, chairman of the judges panel.
Western North Carolina named top conference unit of UM Men
Last year, Western North Carolina Conference tied for first place with the South Carolina Annual Conference. This year, the conference holds the title alone.
Bishop James Swanson presented the award for best conference unit to Neil Brown, president of the Western North Carolina Conference UM Men, at a March 3 meeting of the National Association of Conference Presidents.
Neil is a certified lay speaker and a men’s ministry specialist. He recruited three new district presidents and the conference now has a full slate of officers. “That alone deserves the award for first place,” said Bishop Swanson.
The executive team routinely communicates with some 1,200 members via the email client MailChimp.
Twenty three percent of the churches are now chartered and attendance at an annual rally increased by 60 percent.
The conference provides financial support for The Children’s Home, Africa University, second-career clergy scholarships, scouting, and disaster-recovery teams.
The conference provides training in the “Understanding Men’s Ministry” course, and gives scholarships for candidates for the post of men’s ministry specialists.
The conference is developing The Leader Learning and Development Center based on a course developed by Belmont University in Nashville. Study guides and web-based studies will enable men to receive a certification in Christian Ministry Leadership and men’s ministry. The prototype university may be offered to the general church
The conference also developed the “A Call to Action for All Men” and distributed it via the conference UMC e-newsletter. They are also working on organizing a Pan-Methodist men’s organization
Goals for 2017 include a 5 percent increase in charters in order to have the highest number of charters of any conference unit, a 35 percent increase in rally attendance, and 60 percent of the executive board participating in “Class Meeting” conferencing.