Herman Lightsey named president of NACP

NASHVILLE, Tenn.––Herman Lightsey, a men’s ministry specialist and former president of the South Carolina Conference UM Men, was elected president of the National Association of Conference Presidents of UM Men during the March 5-8 session of that leadership team.

Meeting two days after a devasting tornado tore apart the eastern side of the city, some 85 conference presidents elected Lightsey by unanimous consent. Herman succeeds Steven Nailor who served as president from 2016 to 2020. Herman assumes the post on July 19, the first Sunday, following the five 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences.

48 years as a Methodist

Herman and Mary Lightsey have been United Methodists since 1972 when the couple accepted an invitation from their neighbors to attend a United Methodist church service,

“Mary was a Lutheran and I was Baptist when we married,” says Herman. “I knew our faith was a topic that had to be addressed, but before it even came up for discussion, God placed us next door to this Methodist family.” The Lightseys became United Methodists and raised their two daughters in Ashland UMC in Columbia, S.C.

Service with UM Men

“In 1973, a group of UM Men started mentoring me, and I became a part of the UM Men group at St Paul UMC,” says Herman. “At the same time the pastor began mentoring me and I became the youngest person to chair the Administrative Board.”

In 2007, Herman was approached  about becoming a men’s ministry specialist. He was already teaching an adult Sunday school class and serving as lay leader and a lay speaker. Herman completed the course and became the first men’s ministry specialist in the SC Conference.

A retired colonel in the South Carolina Army National Guard and a member of the Guard’s Hall of Fame, Herman is also now retired as deputy director of South Carolina Accident Workers’ Compensation Fund.

Local church service

He continues to be active in Ashland UMC as a teacher and leader. He has served on the FFinance Committee, the Board of Trustees, the Stewardship Committee, the Administrative Board, and the Pastor/Staff Relations Committee.

District service

Herman serves the Columbia District as a cHe is a certified lay servant, a member of the Connectional Ministries Committee, past president of Columbia District UM Men, a member of Midlands Emmaus Community, and he is a facilitator of the Forward Focus Committee.

Conference service

He has served South Carolina Conference as president of Conference UM Men, past chair of the Conference Pension and Health Benefits Board, a member of the Bishop’s Advisory Team, a member of the Connectional Ministries Committee, and a member Board of Ordained Ministry. He also serves on the South Carolina Committee on the Episcopacy.

General Church service

He is a 3-time delegate to General Conference (2012, 2016, and 2019), first vice president of the National Association of Conference Presidents, and a member of the 2016-2020 Wespath Benefits and Investments Board.

“I’ve never had a Damascus Road experience, but I can tell you that because of Jesus Christ my life has changed drastically over the past 25 years,” says Herman. “I feel God has placed me in men’s ministry for a reason.”

Other NACP officers

Mark Lubbock, first vice president

Ben Nelson, second vice president

Ken Hudgins, secretary

Don Davis, treasurer


Jurisdictional Presidents of UM Men

Andrew Kissell, Southeastern Jurisdiction

David James, Western Jurisdiction

Ben Nelson, Northeastern Jurisdiction

Joe Kelley, South Central Jurisdiction

Mark Dehority, North Central Jurisdiction

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